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How to Evaluate Peer Review

This week, I spent a lot of time creating a system to evaluate peer review. As it turns out, there is a lot of resources for instructional scaffolding to teach peer review and critique, but not much on how to evaluate peer review comments. As many IDers know, scaffolding is aligned with peer-teaching as one of Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development. This is especially hard in an online setting.

As an instructional designer, one of my projects lately has been creating an online environment to teach students how to effectively peer review each other's work. By doing extensive research, I found items that aligned with teaching effective peer review:

  • Tips and Tricks

  • Effective Peer Review Methodology

  • Frameworks for Peer Review

  • Questions to Ask for Peer Review

  • Countless literature on peer review in multiple settings

  • so much more...

However, the one item I was unable to find was how to effectively evaluate the comments that students are providing to each other. Knowing that my resources were limited, I created a rubric that I hope others can use (with modification) on peer review documentation. As with many projects, my rubrics took many drafts and different aspects. Here are the top three rubrics I was able to create.

Peer Review Rubric #1

This first rubric allows for both student and instructor interpretation. It allows for flexibility in the peer review process and enables the student to find areas of importance on their own. Ultimately, we decided against using this rubric in the first round of scaffolding as students do not yet understand what aspects are important and vital in the peer review process. This rubric would be ideal in a situation where students have hands-on training or can meet more in-depth about the peer review process.

Peer Review Rubric #2

The second rubric is based off a Peer Review Form that is provided to students to help them through the peer review process. It still leaves room for flexibility in terms of leaving items a bit vague (on purpose). By basing the rubric off of a form the students must use, it helps have a definite link between what is expected from the students and the grade they will receive - without limiting all aspects of the peer review.

Peer Review Rubric #3

The third rubric directly aligns with the Peer Review Form (mentioned above). It allows for limited flexibility in terms of what is expected from the students. By having a direct link between the Peer Review Form and the rubric, students are clear of all expectations and must "checkoff" each item in order to receive a full grade.

To see these rubrics in PDF click the link here.

While I realize this rubric is not a one-size-fit-all, it may be a good framework for others who are starting in a similar situation as I was. If you have any questions about this form or would like to use the framework, I'm happy to discuss the opportunity to work with you. This rubric was not something I took lightly and will probably continue to work on and tweak based upon student feedback after it has been ran through one semester. It would be ideal if it works perfectly the first time; but we all know that reflection and evaluation allows for the best work to come forward.

Until next week


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