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Last week Dr. Anabel Gutierrez, Senior Lecturer in ICT at Regent’s College gave a short presentation on using peer review assignments based on her experience of using this type of assessment here at Regent’s College.  Her talk addressed these three issues:

•How does peer review help students’ learning process?
•Peer Review using Turnitin – Implementation
•Implementation Reflections and recommendations
The first of these issues relates to the different types of students we have in our class. Some of our students are fully engaged in the classroom learning activities but others are easily distracted or are poorly motivated in the first place. Using Peer Review does help to engage and motivated these weaker students.

In terms of ‘Implementation’ of the Turnitin Peer Review process Anabel showed that we need to be really clear and well prepared in terms of the Assessment design: 
-Assessment Brief
-Marking criteria
-Formative activities
Next Anabel gave a good description of how to technically set a Turnitin Peer Review within Regent’s College VLE (Blackboard). This is basically a two stage process, first setting up tthe TurnitinUK Assignment: (Paper Assignment) and then secondly the PeerMark Assignment.

Anabel outlined the key benefits of using Peer review:

•Students improve their writing and critical thinking skills
•Learning process is enhance with relevant and timely feedback, and the tools are available!
•Lecturers have evidence of student progress and participation
•Marking criteria is clearer to the student (and to the lecturer)

There then followed a short discussion  with ‘Questions and Feedback’. Some of the audience were concerned about the time implications of managing the peer review process on top of their existing busy workloads. It was noted that there are different ways of setting up the peer  but  the (lack of) time is real issue.
Finally Anabel summarised with these general points:
•Improvements and better understanding of peer review is needed to get consistent results.
•Is important to provide feedback to students along the process assessment process not only at the end. WHEN does the feedback is more relevant????
•Sharing their learning to the class, not in a formal presentation but as a group discussion. HOW????
•Time management. TIME please!
Outside of the session myself and Anabel have met to discuss how best to evaluate the student’s experience. We have started to think about the types of questions we need to ask them and how best to do this evaluation. Watch this space for further details;)