The University of Iowa

Peerceptiv Teaching Best Practices

If you are considering adopting a tool to aid in peer assessment in your course, here are some best practices:

  • Communicate with students about the values and purposes of peer review/assessment.
  • Consider students' workload. 2-3 assignments per semester has demonstrated a good fit.
  • Fewer points on the first assignment (students need time to learn the system with the first assignment).
  • Incorporate instructor-graded assignments after peer review assignments. Students can use these tools as opportunities to revise their work.

Keys to success

  • Develop specific rubric questions that help focus students' assessment process
  • Train students how to apply rubric criteria when they evaluate peers' work

Watch the Extraordinary Teaching Project: Developing Critical Thinking Through Peer Review to see how one University of Iowa professor used peer review of writing to develop students' critical thinking skills.

How are instructors using Peerceptiv?

Kristine Munoz, Professor of Communication Studies: “I was always troubled that in Communication Studies we claimed we taught students to communicate effectively in writing. Yet writing assignments were, for most students, a first draft pulled together shortly before the due date. Even when we put significant effort into giving feedback, most simply looked at their grade and went on. Peerceptiv guides them through drafts of other students’ work, and most of the learning happens by seeing what their peers are doing well and poorly. They also get reviews, often careful, insightful and quite useful, on the basis of which they do second drafts of their papers. I have seen a significant improvement in the quality of student writing since I incorporated Peerceptiv into my students’ learning experience.”

Charles Munro, Visiting Instructor of Journalism & Mass Communication: “I have tried other evaluative software. Some anonymous, some not. I find it only works when students put honest, serious effort into it. That kind of effort emerges only when a grade is at stake. For that reason, I really like Peerceptiv’s back evaluation (review-the-reviewer) feature. It’s students holding other students accountable for what they write for a grade. I believe strongly that students learn best when they get thoughtful feedback on their written work. In large classes doing that is immensely time consuming. I have found that students react positively to the feedback provided by peers and submit better final reports as a result.”


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