Peer Review Possibilities
… a first look at some tools in Blackboard 9.
Journals—NEW(for oral peer feedback), can be course link from Assignments
• You can set up journals as public (other students can read but only the instructor can comment) or private (just the instructor can read and comment)
• Journals connote informal and private; system will alert students whether a journal is public or private, but you might reiterate that.
PRO—Good place for a freewrite activity for an early stage draft.
PRO—BB can enter points directly into Grade Center (e.g. 1=poor, 2=fine, 3=well done)
CON—Peer comments have to be oral or written elsewhere
Blogs—NEW(for written peer feedback), can be course link from Assignments
• Always public, with opportunity for students and instructor to comment.
• Original assignment will have to specify instructions for commenting on other.
• You can arrange for individual blogs or a course blog, which may be something like a wiki, a common page.
PRO—Easy way for instructor and students to respond to semiformal writing. Everyone can see all comments.
CON—No Grade Center connection.
CON—You have to open up comments on each entry unless you specify that each person make a new blog entry for easy reading.
Discussion Board (for written peer feedback), can be course link from Assignments
• Familiar feature. You can set up threads within forums or have students create threads. Students and instructor can join in.
PRO—You can flag select entries and add tags pointing to good features (e.g., “note the nuanced thesis in this introductory paragraph”).
PRO—You can now check off posts and click “COLLECT” to read them all on one page rather than one by one.
CON—When you create the threads, the discussion board is opaque until you open individual replies.
Self and Peer Assessment—NEW (for written peer feedback)
• This is a separate assignment designed specifically for peer review of drafts.
• You specify criteria under a question or questions.
• Thoughtful setup required.
• This may work best if students submit chunks of their paper, such as intro, methods, etc.
• Instructor needs to look at submissions through Course Tools.
PRO—Requires participation of writer as well as peers.
PRO—BB banks these questions for future assessments.
PRO—In addition to room for comments, you can specify points for each criteria which BB enters directly into the Grade Center.
PRO—You can provide model responses to questions.
PRO—You can specify how many submissions each peer needs to read.
CON—This takes time and forethought.
CON—You will have to prep students to use this system.
CON—Apparently each question requires upload of text, so if you want peers to consider a whole paper, you need to ask one “question” and put multiple “criteria” beneath it.
CON—You cannot pair peers; BB does that.
SafeAssignment—NEW (Turnitin.com alternative built right into BB)
• This feature generates a report specifying how much and from where text has been “borrowed.”
• You may want to combine this with some kind of journal/action plan for correcting problems.
PRO—Students can review a report on their drafts as part of the submission process.
PRO—You don’t have to set up a separate account.
PRO—You can assign a point value for the assignment which goes right into the Grade Center.
PRO—Instructor can send a comment to the student about the report.
CON—We’re not clear if this can spot as much as Turnitin, but it has been around for a while.
Groups (for written peer feedback), can be course link from Assignments
• You can create a group (student choice—self-enroll—or your choice) and orchestrate collaboration.
• You can enable tools such as discussion board, journals, task, e-mail, or file exchange.
PRO—Instructor can control who is reviewing whom.
PRO—Instructor can join group.
PRO—Instructor can arrange for group discussion of a paper with the writer only listening in.
CON—No Grade Center entry.
CON—May be harder to monitor.