2 Criticisms of Peer Review My students can’t write well, so how can they possibly help each other?Peer Review takes too much time away from class instructionI’m not familiar with peer review strategiesI don’t perceive there to be an inherent benefitPeer review adds more to my workloadPeer Review has many benefits, but it has also been criticized. Let’s take a look at general criticisms of peer review.
3 Peer Review? What is that? Serves dual purposes:Provides the author with valuable feedback to strengthen his/her writingAllows the reviewer an opportunity to identify strengths and improvements needed in other’s writing (transferable)It is easy to assume that people know what we are talking about, but too often we do not fully explain ourselves.That is why it is helpful to have ‘another pair of eyes,’ so to speak.It is also helpful to have one of our peers look at our writing… someone who has similar perspectives.That is where review from a peer is so helpful. While most readers are ‘friendly readers’ in that they try to follow along with our ideas, peer review gives us valuable feedback at any point in our writing.
4 Peer Review: Active Learning Critiquing someone’s work to make it stronger-Does the writing address the assignment?-What is the main point of the writing? Is there a clear and identifiable thesis statement?-Does the evidence support the argument?We see new ideas and new ways of explaining ideasPeer Review is a process of active learning, with the author and reviewer both providing and receiving feedback through and having opportunities to reflect on the process.
5 The ‘Who’ of Peer Review Peers are good prospects for honest and helpful feedback.Students also have to see their instructors as helpful peer review individuals… but students need to rely on others than just the instructor. When you get more than one review, you’re getting various perspectives.Encouragement by instructors, regarding the positive nature of in-class peer review, will help foster students’ acceptance of peer review.
6 Blind Peer Review Exercise Write an Introductory Paragraph (3-5 sentences) designed to persuade your colleagues to use Peer Review in their classThis is a first draft. In this exercise you will benefit from feedback from an anonymous reviewer. After you have written a first draft, please submit your draft to workshop facilitators for anonymous peer review.Everyone will have an opportunity to provide a peer with general comments on their draft.
7 Blind Peer Review Exercise Use this criteria to offer feedbackDoes the draft meet the assignment?Is there a clear argument for using peer review?Is the writing persuasive?After you have provided comments, please submit to the workshop facilitators who will redistribute all first drafts (now with comments) back to original authors.
8 Peer Review Strategies What is the best way to ‘use’ Peer Review? Here are a few strategies:Response-Centered WorkshopsPeers note their personal responses to the textWriter of the text listens but does not enter conversationAdvice-Centered WorkshopsPeers first review and then give advice on the textWriter and Reviewer then talk togetherBlind Peer Review (this is the in which strategy you just participated)Assign students an identification numberCollect writing samples and redistributeReviewer places their ID number on paper, and provides feedback based on criteriaInstructor provides additional comments (optional)Authors receive their writing samples with one or two sets of commentsAccording to “The Allyn & Bacon Guide to Writing” (Concise/Third Edition, 2003), peer review works best in two types of in-class workshops:1) Response-Centered Workshops2) Advice-Centered WorkshopsResponse-Centered workshops are process based: They focus on the writing process and interpretations (in reading) of the text. Attention is given to higher-order concerns.Textbook Documentation:Ramage, John D., John C. Bean, and June Johnson. The Allyn & Bacon Guide to Writing. 3rd ed. New York: Longman Publishers, 2003.Chapter 11, “Writing as a Problem-Solving Process.”Peer Review Section: “Using Peer Reviews to Stimulate Revision,” ( ).Advice-Centered Workshops are product-based: They focus on the product (the text) and therefore give feedback on more lower-order concerns.Students and Instructors need to choose which type of peer-review workshop is best for what stage of writing. Early writing stages lends themselves better to response-centered workshops. Later writing stages lend themselves better to advice-centered workshops. That said, any type of workshop can be used at any stage.
9 Peer Review Strategies What strategies do you use in your classroom?Will you consider using anonymous peer review?What worked well?
10 The ‘How’ of Classroom Peer Review Peer Review works best in a structured environmentSuggested Classroom StructureAllocated a specific time (Ten-Fifteen minute session)Provide Specific Criteria (Thesis statement; Topic Sentences; Organization; Introduction; ConclusionGrammar, Punctuation, and Spelling; Syntax; Citation)Feedback from Students on how Peer Review worked (recommended)Students may think that peer review by anyone (such as their roommate) works just as well as in-class peer review.The truth is that peer review that is structured and focused works much better.
11 Instructions for Students on How to Perform Peer Review Peer Review works by being a helpful readerProvide criteria or a rubric for students to follow: (Thesis statement; Topic Sentences; Organization; Introduction; Conclusion; Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling; Syntax; Citation)Offer ideas on how to respond as a helpful reader:If you get confused or lostMark an ‘X’ in the text where you are confusedAsk the writer to explain his or her ideasAsk the writer to state his or her thesisHelp the writer to brainstorm (mapping, outlining, etc.)Ask the writer to fill in the blanks:My purpose in this paper is _________________.My purpose in this section is ________________.Peer Review Handouts are very helpful to students. Providing students with a list of questions gives them a place to start.Additionally - and perhaps more importantly - is the need to model peer review with the class as a whole before students begin the process themselves.
12 Instructions for Students on How to Perform Peer Review Being a helpful reader (cont.):If you cannot see the pointAsk the writer ‘So what?’ questions.In other words, ask the writer‘What does this sentence have to do with your thesis?’‘What does this point have to do with this paragraph?’‘What does this paragraph have to do with the paper?’Play devil’s advocateCounter the writer’s stance or thesisBring up other perspectives the writer hasn’t consideredAsk the writer ‘why’ and ‘how’ questionsOffer more examples and details to the writerUltimately, peer review are suggestions. Leave the final decisions to the writer.The ‘So What’ maneuver is often helpful to writers as it gets them to be more specific.Talking through a text can give the writer new ideas.Playing devil’s advocate can be helpful as long as things stay positive. Students have to remember that it is more important to be helpful and positive than to be negative and critical.In the end, it is up to the writer-not the peer reviewer.