A peer review may take place in the early stages, or drafts, of a multiple-step project. The peer review may focus on a topic of interest to learners at a point in time in order to reinforce the concept, a focus on grammar, a focus on tense, or a focus on syntax in the classroom. Peer review may be useful for preservice educators as they learn how to grade or evaluate students’ submissions. In this post, I explore teachers transitioning to online instruction can experience this feature and consider using the technique with their students while learning the nuances of online communication {Read: Communication Across Modalities}.

Online Teacher Peer Review Each Other

What Are The Types of Peer Review?

Wiley (n.d.) overviews the variety of peer review structures. While these descriptive phrases may not be used with K-12 students the descriptions contain nuances and educators could consider before structuring a peer-reviewed assignment. A single-blind review is when the students submitting the work do not know who reviewed their submission. A double-blind review is when neither the identity of the reviewer nor the submitter is known to each other. An open peer review is a review where the submitter and the reviewer both know each other’s identity (Wiley). These varieties are often represented in a learning management system (LMS) as options. A teacher should consider identifying the best option for their class and adhering to that one option for the duration of their course to not use additional instructional time teaching the nuances of a second or third per review type.

The goal of engaging students in peer reviews of papers is to prompt students to carefully read
each other’s work with an eye to the criteria used by experts … to assess the quality of the
work. In using rubrics for formative exercises, instructors may increase students’ awareness of the
general and discrete criteria … and increase students’ sensitivity to
the standards of performance, so that they may be better able to distinguish subtle but important
differences between achievement that is accomplished and achievement that is exemplary, and
achievement that is accomplished and emerging or nascent (Gorzycki, n.d.).

What Does Peer Review Look Like in an LMS?

Canvas LMS offers Peer Review (Canvas Guides, 2021). My current curiosity is how to norm online teacher communication. In order to accomplish that objective, I would create an assignment with an online submission where the submitter is responding to an online student (see Figure 1). The submission would be graded by other aspiring online teachers on the provided rubric to evaluate how well the submission addresses the online student. The purpose of this exercise is to engage the future online teachers with practice in responding to an online student and provide a scaffolding for the essential elements a response should include through the peer review process where a rubric can force that examination.

Figure 1 Assignment with Prompt

Assignment with Prompt

Figure 2 shows what a Student Messaging Rubric could look like. Aspiring online teachers would respond to the prompt in the assignment simulating a student message to the online instructor. Aspiring online teachers would submit their responses and then peer review the response of several of their peers in class. After this exercise, a discussion, in-person or a discussion board, could address the highlights, low lights, areas for improvement, and possibly norm future communications from the virtual academy going forward.

Figure 2 Student Messaging Rubric

Student Messaging Rubric

What do you think?

How would you anticipate a similar activity working in your school?

What refinements would you offer?



Canvas Guides. (2021, April 18). How do I use peer review assignments in a course? How do I use peer review assignments in a course? – Canvas Community. https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Instructor-Guide/How-do-I-use-peer-review-assignments-in-a-course/ta-p/697.

Gorzycki, M. (n.d.).Rubric for Formative Peer Review of Papers. Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL). https://ceetl.sfsu.edu/.

Types of peer review. Wiley. (n.d.). https://authorservices.wiley.com/Reviewers/journal-reviewers/what-is-peer-review/types-of-peer-review.html.