peerScholar aims to enhance critical thinking through peer-assessment

March 19, 2012

A University of Toronto Scarborough psychology professor and a PhD student have developed an Internet-based educational software package designed to enhance critical thinking through peer-assessment and peer-feedback. Through peerScholar, students give feedback on several assignments by anonymous peers and use the comments and advice they've received to improve their work before submitting a final written product to a TA or instructor. The richness of students' comments on their peers' work, how they've received feedback, and the overall quality of the final work factor into the peer-assessment assignment grade. peerScholar aims to address the logistical issues of administering peer-assessment assignments by offering an easy-to-use system that provides both anonymous and instant feedback on written work. More importantly, the software combines peer-assessment with self-assessment. The professor who co-developed the software says the ability to not only reflect on comments made by fellow students but also to revise and resubmit is a crucial aspect of the process. UTSC News