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Peer review as a concept

With peer review, students read and give feedback on other students' assignments according to criteria given by you as a teacher. The main purpose is to get the students to learn from each other.

Praxis in academic culture

Peer review means that students read through each other's assignments and give feedback on it. It is an important part of higher education and is academic praxis when research is being published. An assignment with the peer review function in Canvas makes it possible for the students to give feedback to another student's assignment. Peer review can help the students understand the concepts used in the course and help them understand the grading criteria, since they will have used them to give feedback.

The main purpose is to learn from each other

The main purpose with peer review for you as a teacher is to give your students a new point of view and new ideas, and thus learn from each other. In addition, all the assignments that you as a teacher will grade will have been reviewed an extra time.

Peer review can be used on all kinds of assignments and educations. Please note that it is important to have thought the peer review assignment through before handing it out, and to have clear instructions to the students, the same way as you would with all assignments.

Without a clear purpose the peer review can mean an increased workload for your student, without them gaining any meaningful feedback. This is why it is important to give the students instructions to make the peer review process worthwhile for the development of their assignments.

One way to arrange a peer review that is worthwhile is to let the students use the same grading criteria as you as a teacher will use when grading this assignment and the final version of it. This will give the students a better understanding of the grading criteria, and it will make the feedback from one student to another more significant.

Field of applications

Peer reviews can be used in a variety of different fields, for example:

  • Students executing assignments in several steps, for example research projects, can submit a first draft for peer review. Another student gives feedback regarding the quality of the text and the use of sources, general structure, and the strength and weaknesses of the arguments used.
  • Students in courses focused on writing can regularly critique each other's work, and give feedback on each other's use of grammar, syntax and rhetorical techniques.
  • Student teachers can practise grading in an environment where the teachers of the course easily can monitor their work.