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Peer review for topic-based assignments

Peer review activities provide students with a valuable opportunity to experience giving and receiving feedback on their own and their peers’ work. Turnitin PeerMark is a useful tool that can be used to allow students to review submissions made to Turnitin Assignments. Students can be presented with a series of structured questions to answer about each of the papers they review and can add comments.  Students are randomly allocated a paper each time they start a review.

In some cases, it is desirable to control the distribution of papers for review so that students review a paper that is on a different topic than the paper they authored themselves.

Controlling topics or blocks of topics can be achieved by creating topic groups in the LMS, then creating two or more pairs of Turnitin Assignments, and finally, controlling the visibility of the links for specific topics using Adaptive Release.

If students are divided across two topics, they can first be directed to submit to a particular Turnitin Assignment (e.g. Review Topic A) and subsequently, be directed to review a paper on an alternative topic (e.g. Review Topic B). This set up will ensure they will not review papers written on their own topic.

table to represent differences between submitting and reviewing groups

This structure also supports larger numbers of topics. If there are, for example, 10 topics – Groups 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 in the LMS, each with multiple members, divide the topics into 2 blocks, containing roughly equal numbers of students.

table to represent differences between submitting and reviewing with multiple groups

To set up a topic-based peer review: create two Turnitin Assignments, one for each topic block, then create two Turnitin Peermark Assignments, each referring to the alternate topic block (use a different base assignment).  When the assignments are created, show the links only to selected individuals or groups of students using Adaptive Release.

Screen Shot with example topic based Turnitin and Peermark assignments
Example setup topic based Turnitin and Peermark assignments
Applying adaptive release by groups
Applying adaptive release by groups

When the review period is complete students will need to read the reviews of their work. Edit the adaptive release rule to add the remaining groups, allowing all students to see both the review links; the one where they wrote reviews, and the one where they can read their reviews.

To talk to a Learning and Teaching consultant about setting up Peer Review in your subject, please log a support request and we will be happy to assist.

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Written by
Bronwyn Disseldorp


Learning Environments support centre