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
- 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.
- 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 http://writing.colostate.edu/references/teaching/peer/index.cfm.
Peer Review and Your Review: Balancing Responses