Two tough teaching challenges often join forces: getting students to think critically and to write clearly. A teaching strategy that can help with both is student peer review, but it can too easily degenerate into mindless friendly A’s. Enter technology. Calibrated Peer Review (“CPR”) is an online program that begins by teaching students how to discern between high, medium, and low quality essays. As the Starting Point teaching project explains:
Calibrated Peer Review is a web-based writing and peer review tool . . . . Students write short essays on a given topic following guided questions to articulate their ideas and promote critical thinking. Students submit the essays online then read and assign a score to three “calibration” essays. After gaining practice reading for content and reviewing, students read and score three anonymous peer essays. At the end, the students go back and read and score their own essay.
By improving the students’ ability to critique the writing of others, it improves their awareness of their own writing and thinking. Interested in learning more? Check out this bibliography of publications about CPR.