This week, we’ve expanded the NoodleTools collaborative environment to include Peer Review Mode for students.
In Peer Review Mode, a student can view a partner’s work and provide constructive feedback on citations or notecards. When students receive authentic feedback, it helps them revise and improve their work. Both the peer reviewer and the researcher benefit. We know that some NoodleTools teachers already successfully incorporate a peer review process into writing drafts. Peer Review Mode allows teachers to start or extend the peer review process into the stages of research.
Peer reviewing can improve writing and communication skills but novice peer-reviewers need support to begin. Here are some tips on starting a successful peer-reviewing loop:
Begin with a specific compliment
Students can learn from successful strategies that others are using. Always ask students to write comments about the strengths they see in a student’s work or state what they genuinely like about their peer’s research process so far.
Focus on one component
Don’t expect a student to examine a peer’s entire research project to date. Students will internalize and understand how to improve if they are asked to focus more deeply on a single component, then model and practice giving specific, positive feedback for a particular aspect such as:
- Revising word choice in the “Summary / Paraphrase”
- Adding tags to a notecard
- Brainstorming additional questions for “My Ideas”
- Wondering in order to identify a gap in a student’s information
- Suggesting a type of source that might provide a different perspective or new information
- Evaluating a specific aspect of credibility in a peer’s source list. For example, students might focus on currency, if relevant for the topic, assess an author’s expertise about this subject, or question the publisher’s purpose for providing information.
- Identifying why evidence for a claim in a notecard is weak and suggesting what might make it stronger
Provide structure and language
Provide sentence starters like:
- “This notecard made me wonder (about your topic)…”
- “When I looked at your List Analysis, I noticed…”
- “I see some of the author’s words in your summary. I suggest that you either put quotes around…or change it to say…”
- “I don’t understand (referring to a specific phrase or idea)…”
If you are using a rubric to assess student work already, focus peer review on one of the rubric criteria.
To get started, a student will select the link on their project dashboard to add a collaborator, then select the “Peer-reviewer” radio button as shown here:
We look forward to observing how NoodleTools facilitates your work with students — please let us know how you’re using Peer Review Mode!