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3 Ways To Facilitate Peer Review

Most people agree that peer review benefits both students and instructors, but there are still challenges when educators try to implement this practice in a classroom setting. For instance, some teachers choose not to dedicate class time to peer review, while students don’t take the reviewing process seriously in many cases. To ensure that students learn how to give feedback appropriately and get the most out of this process, here are three ways to facilitate peer review.

Teach students the skills they need to review

A common mistake even some of the best instructors make is assuming their students understand how to peer review in the first place. Many individuals probably haven’t given another student feedback before, but even if they have, it doesn’t hurt to reinforce certain skills.

Giving constructive criticism is one of the hardest concept for students to master. It’s important for the reviewer to communicate their thoughts clearly and be descriptive. Not only do general comments contribute little in the way of improvement, but it’s also easier for someone to write them off. Feedback should include specific examples, make the producer answer questions, and encourage reflection. It should also include positive and negative comments.

Before a student can effectively review someone else’s work, they also need to know what to look for. Good reviewers can identify key points in a story or presentation, locate the evidence that supports them, and point out the effective parts of the assignment as a whole. This obviously takes practice, so instructors can help guide students along by providing a peer review worksheet or checklist.

Provide practice opportunities for peer review

Practice goes hand in hand with teaching as students learn the fundamentals of effective peer review. Before a student works their way down a peer review checklist, it’s helpful to have them practice on a sample. Students often feel uncomfortable giving feedback because they don’t want to make their peers feel bad and because they know someone else is doing the same to their assignment. To warm students up to the idea of feedback, instructors should have students practice by analyzing a mock paper or video.

Make sure students understand the importance of it

Another reason students don’t take peer reviewing seriously is because they don’t understand feedback translates far beyond the classroom. Professionals and scholars routinely use peer review to improve their work before submitting it to a boss or an academic journal. Peer review is also a great way to get a different perspective on your work. If you’re trying to reach an audience made up of people outside your chosen field, it’s crucial to receive feedback from someone in that demographic.

Peer review takes time in a traditional classroom and is more difficult online, but Bongo lets instructors perform this activity on a scalable basis. To learn more about time-stamped feedback and Bongo’s other peer review features, visit our website.

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