What is it?
Calibrated Peer Review (CPR) is a Web-based program that allows instructors to incorporate frequent writing assignments into their courses, regardless of class size, without increasing their grading workload. Students are trained to be competent reviewers and provide classmates with personalized feedback on writing assignments. The CPR system manages the entire peer-review process, including assignment creation and submission, student reviewer training, and student input analysis. The tool suite is discipline-independent and supports a "writing-across-the-curriculum" approach. CPR provides a mechanism for students to practice higher-order skills such as synthesis, analysis, and evaluation. In writing, students synthesize, organize, and articulate their knowledge. The peer reviewing process then allows them to confront other ways of thinking about the topic and to refine and reflect on their own understanding.
Instructors may create their own assignments in CPR or use CPR Central to share assignments with other CPR institutions. All student data is stored on UBC servers. CPR was originally created by UCLA with the support of NSF funding. UBC pays a subscription fee to UCLA for the use of CPR.
CPR provides the following functions:
- Assignment creation.
- Central assignment library for cross-institutional sharing.
- Custom rubric creation.
- User management system, including bulk import of students.
- Students can manage own profiles.
- Automatic scoring based on student proficiency.
The centerpiece of the Calibrated Peer Review process, which includes the three crafted examples, is the faculty-developed assignment. A complete Calibrated Peer Review assignment consists of nine sections integral to the instructional design of the assignment and four sections used in the CPR program’s search functions for quickly locating a relevant assignment. The former are seen and used by students as they engage in the assignment process; the latter are seen by potential authors and users and are publicly available to non-users.
The instructional design of the nine student sections can be considered a lesson plan for the assignment:
- The Title identifies the topic.
- The Learning Goals specify the objectives and purpose of the assignment.
- Hyperlink Resources, including links to Web sites and files, provide students with the study materials for the assignment.
- Guidance for Studying Source Materials and the Guidance for Writing Your Text give students specific instructions on how or what to study in the resources.
- The Writing Prompt indicates what is expected in the essay they will write.
- Three Calibration Essays serve as strong, mediocre, and poor models or typical student examples of the writing task. These form the basis for training students to become competent reviewers.
- The Calibration Questions identify the critical points and issues that are expected to be addressed in a text response to the writing task. The questions may also explore common misconceptions students hold or errors that they make.
- The Calibration Answer Keys include explanations of why the three calibration samples do or do not meet the evaluation criteria that you expect from the class. Since each student receives specific feedback on their training success, the explanations become personalized instruction that hones student understanding of the topic.
CPR is a web-based product. Faculty and students need a computer with Internet Explorer version 4 or higher (recommended) or Netscape Navigator version 4 or higher.
Uses and Benefits
Rubric-based evaluations via CPR:
- Help students understand what is expected in an individual assignment.
- Allow students to anonymously review work of their peers. The calibration essays ensure students understand how to use the rubrics accurately.
- Clearly break down grading scheme
- Reduces the workload for instructors and TAs
- Provide quick feedback for students
- Allow for easy management of evaluations for instructors
- Permit writing in large enrolment courses.
Students are permitted to edit their own profiles, submit their own work and review the work of others.
- Add or remove students from course
- Add/edit/copy assignments (including rubrics)
- Set/revise assignment timing
- Review student progress
- Participate in an assignment as a student (if desired)
- Submit work for students
Administrative access is required to create courses and add users.
Screenshots coming soon.
CPR Local - http://cpr.elearning.ubc.ca
CPR Central - https://cprcentral.ucla.edu
CPR is not currently CWL enabled. To access CPR, you must have an account. To request an account, contact Kalev Hunt (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Calibrated Peer Review
- ELI Innovations & Implementations - Calibrated Peer Review: A Writing and Critical-Thinking Instructional Tool - http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI5002.pdf
- CPR in Biology - http://www.jstor.org/stable/4451167
- CPR in Chemistry - http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ed084p292
- CPR in Neuroscience - http://www.funjournal.org/downloads/pritchard.pdf
- CPR in Physiology - http://advan.physiology.org/content/26/3/174.short
- Analysis of Student Peer Scoring Using CPR - http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/G/Douglas.D.Gaffin-1/papers/2008_College_Science_Teaching.pdf
Experienced CPR authors have found that three key features make an effective assignment topic. Because a full assignment requires additional student time beyond the writing, the topic must be:
- significant and central to the course,
- appropriate for a writing assignment, and
- interesting and challenging, but not overwhelming for students.
The topic must have sufficient depth that not only the writing stage but also the reviewing stages of the assignment probe higher level concepts of a topic and contribute to student learning. Otherwise, students rightly find the assignment, in general, and the reviewing process, in particular, a waste of their time. Students learn how to evaluate their peers’ documents by reviewing three carefully crafted samples, which include not only an exemplary text but also two that contain common student errors and misconceptions.