Monday, January 12, 2009

FIU Workshop: Teaching Peer Review

Peer Review
Peer review--students commenting on students writing--is one of the most beneficial things you can do in any course where there's writing. But it's a skill that has to be taught. A program such as CompClass's Writing Tab helps make Peer Review easier to teach because it makes peer review visible; it makes it possible for you as a teacher to see what students are doing.

Here are some other Peer Review Activities you can use:

Advice on Giving and Using Peer Reviews

Peer review exercises from Peter Elbow's and Pat Belanoff's Sharing and Responding, (New York: Random House, 1989):
  • Reading Outloud, the virtue of simply sharing for sharing's sake.
  • Center of Gravity, where you describe the focal point of the paper.
  • Believing/Doubting, where you support, then challenge, a writer's ideas.
  • Say Back, where you recall as much as you can based on what the writer wrote.
  • Metaphor, where you describe a paper in 'other' terms.

Other Popular & Useful Peer Review Activities
  • Nutshelling, where you reveal the essence of a thought.
  • Reading for Flow, helping writers share their logic and the connections their minds' make.
  • Hovering, where you describe what's almost said or one the verge of being expressed.
  • Requirements, making sure the paper meets requirements.
  • Proof Reading, serving as your classmate's eyes.
  • Reviewing Reviews, a group activity where you meet with other writers to talk about peer reviews received.

See also Colorado State University's Writing Center's excellent advice and suggestions for peer review at


Peer Review and Your Review: Balancing Responses