Education/Archive/Case Studies/peerreviews

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Peer reviews

Shamira Gelbman
Assistant Professor
Illinois State University

Course name
U.S. Political Parties

Course level (undergraduate/graduate)
Advanced undergraduates

Learning objectives
Writing Skills Development    
Media and Information Literacy    
Critical Thinking and Research Skills    
Wiki Technical and Communication Skills   

Discipline of course
Political Science

Class size

Individual or group assignment

Peer review handout
Self-evaluation handout


As part of a larger project that involved both Wikipedia and other components, students were required to evaluate and improve existing Wikipedia articles about state-level political party organizations in the United States.

The students’ improvements to their assigned state-party articles were evaluated twice: a month into their work, and again at the end of the semester. The one-month evaluation involved three kinds of evaluation: Each student self-evaluated his or her own progress; each student was assigned to peer-review one other classmate’s work; and I provided an evaluation and suggestions for further improvement for each student based on his or her self-evaluations, peer-review report, and his or her article itself. The peer review component of this one-month evaluation was guided; that is, students received forms with pointed, open-ended questions to help structure their assessment of classmates’ work.

I’ve found that self-evaluation and peer-review make assessment more meaningful; they become active participants in the process rather than passive recipients of a grade. Peer review has the added benefit of facilitating students learning from each other — both in terms of the content and the quality of their work.

(CC-BY-SA 3.0) by Cheryl Ball