If you are new to using Peerceptiv, here are some peer assessment best practices to get the most out of your experience. You can find additional information in our Knowledge Base.
Writing Effective Rubrics
Effective rubric design is key to encouraging students to provide constructively critical reviews and producing assignments with strong Reliability Ratings.
In Peerceptiv, a Reviewing Dimension is a conceptual element of an assignment, and is made up of one Commenting Prompt for qualitative feedback and at least one Rating Rubric for quantitative feedback.
The scale for Rating Rubrics goes from 1-low to 7-high. Peerceptiv requires that all Rating Rubrics provide rating descriptors, called Rating Anchors, for at least 1 and 7, but good practice requires anchors for at least 4 values.
Keep the following in mind as you design the Rating Rubric and create your Rating Anchors.
- Encourage a spread of ratings across the scale, making it truly difficult for students to justify a rating of 7.
- Use concrete terms (e.g. The paper provides necessary definitions clearly and consistently) rather than generic descriptors (e.g., Good, Poor) in your Rating Rubrics.
- Each Rating Rubrics should represent a single course concept or principle for assessment. It is better to have two different Rating Rubrics when having students assess two different features of the assignment.
- Keep your explanations for the Ratings concise. If you enter long explanations for all 7 levels, this will be hard to read. Some instructors use sentence-long anchors for levels 1,3,5,7 and put number anchors only for 2,4,6. In this model, students naturally interpolate in between values.
- If you leave a middling entry blank, the scale will omit that level entirely. For example, if you only put values in 1,3,5,7 with the rest blank, then students will have a 4-point scale.
- Use a spread of ratings across the scale of 1-7. For example, if you wish to use a 4-point scale, do not just pick 1,2,3,7 because that will give very strange average scores. It is better to use 1,3,5,7.
Be a Helpful Reviewer
The reviewing process is designed to help you and your peers become better writers. The more thoughtful and helpful the feedback you provide the more you both will improve. Keep this in mind when rating and commenting on your peers’ work. Find more information about how assignments work in our Knowledge Base. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind while reviewing.
- Mention the strengths of the paper, so peers know where they succeeded.
- You are trying to help your peers improve their work, not evaluate them as a person.
- Give particular ideas for how to improve the work product.
- Don’t just complain about a problem; offer possible solutions for how to fix it.
- Follow the rubrics given to you by your instructor for each dimension.
- Be precise about where particular problems occur.
- Give examples.
- If there were some common problems at the basic writing level (spelling/grammar, poor word choice, awkward sentence structures), please describe the type of problem including the location of one instance.
Be open-minded about style
- Unless instructed otherwise, there is no one way for each paper to be written. For example, the paper doesn’t have to be formal or informal.
- Ask yourself: did you understand the paper, did you believe the argument, and did you learn something? There are many ways for students to communicate a strong argument.
Remember, you are being graded on your reviewing
- Your quantitative ratings are graded according to accuracy. If your peers feel a particular dimension on a work product is good and you grade it harshly, you will be penalized.
- Your commenting feedback is back-evaluated (graded) by authors on helpfulness and specificity – how much did your comments help them improve the work product? Harshly criticizing without offering constructive feedback will only result in a low helpfulness grade.
Consider what aspects of your own work you want to improve
- What aspect of your own writing can improve as a result of your reviews?
- What can you take away from each review that allows you to become a better writer?