peerScholar

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The peerScholar peer assessment tool enables students to provide constructive feedback on each others' work and facilitates critical reflection on how they might improve their own work. peerScholar targets meta-cognitive thought processes, even in very large class contexts. Developed by Professor Steve Joordens and Ph. D. Student Dwayne Pare at the University of Toronto Scarborough, the tool is designed to allow students to think critically and creatively, to be analytic, and to communicate their thoughts clearly through peer assessment. peerScholar is available for use in Learning Portal courses.

Important note about grading and peerScholar

For peerScholar at U of T, Instructors or TAs, rather than students, must provide the final grades on peerScholar assignments.

These final grades may be informed by peer feedback and must be interpreted by an expert grader in combination with other pedagogical factors that are relevant (e.g., the quality of peer comments, etc).  This approach allows the evidence-based pedagogical benefits of peer-assessment to be harnessed in a way that is consistent with current institutional labour practices.

Why use peerScholar?

Please view the short video below in which Professor Steve Joordens explains the pedagogical value of this tool. 

You may also be interested in the following short videos:
"Importance of Providing Students with a Rationale for Assessment"
"Critical Thinking Utilizing Peer Assessment"

What is peerScholar?

Please view the short video below for an overview. 

For a full overview, this "Instructor Side" video from peerScholar provides a demonstration for instructors about peerScholar (34:17 minutes).

peerScholar in the Portal:

Instructions for adding a peerScholar activity in your Portal Course

Browser Compatibility
peerScholar is compatible with Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari browsers.

The Student Preview tool in the Portal may not fully display content for peerScholar.

Additional instructions from the peerScholar website:

Create a Classic peerScholar Activity

Create a Case Study Activity

Schedule an Activity

Activity Options

Additional Resources:

Information on monitoring and grading activities can be found in the peerScholar Knowledge Base and video collection

Peer Assessment Strategies in Large Classes
Assignment Rationale - Sample Student Assignment