I’ve tried peer editing and revision with students for years, and it never worked out the way I hoped it would. Students working together to provide honest and useful feedback to their peers in hopes of helping them become better writers. It was a fantasy that I could never get to come to fruition. Enter PeerGrade.io, an online peer revision interface that takes students through a step-by-step peer revision process. This is by far the best peer revision activity I’ve ever used.
PeerGrade is a simple, easy-to-use platform that allows your students to give each other feedback on their work and score them using a rubric system. All you have to do is create a class and add students. You can integrate it with Google Classroom or give students a code to join the class. When you create an assignment, students will upload their document to the platform. It then randomly assigns them other documents to review. They’ll fill out a rubric and submit it. Once that is done, students will see the feedback they get from their peers and can review comments given. That’s it. Simple and easy.
What I Like
What I like most about PeerGrade is anonymity. Unless the name is in the document itself, students are unable to see whose assignments they are reviewing, and they don’t know who reviewed their own. From my experience, this helps ensure students are fairly evaluating what they are reading, rather than inflating grades for their friends, or deflating grades of students they don’t like. You as the teacher, though, can see everything students write, so if there is something inappropriate, you can handle it easily. Students can also flag any comments they want you to take a look at.
PeerGrade has a customizable rubric system that you can use. You can add three types of feedback questions for students to answer: text, scale, or basic yes/no. It’s easy to utilize rubrics for, say, Georgia Milestones in my state to get students accustomed to the descriptors on the test. The ability to have students write text responses or click on choices allows for good differentiation among different levels of students in honors, regular, or collaborative classes.
PeerGrade is easy to learn and easy to use. It’s simple design allows you to jump right into creating assignments as soon as you get your classes created. The system is pretty intuitive for teachers and students. The process is also very linear for students. They can’t review someone’s document until they upload their own. They can’t see other students’ feedback of their work until they finish their reviews. You get the idea. It helps keep them focused.
Paid vs. Free
The free version allows you to use all of the essentials of PeerGrade. You get access to have all students evaluate and review their peers’ work. You maintain all of the control of each assignment. The free version will give you an overall percentage grade for each student’s work based on their peer reviews.
As far as the paid version, it’s mostly about customization. The paid version gives you options that you don’t have access to in the free version: self-evaluations, weighting review groups, allowing group submissions.
Realistically, you can still get everything out of the free version that you may use PeerGrade for. The paid allows you to tweak a lot of the settings.
Overall, this is a definite in any ELA classroom. It allows students to perform peer reviews of essay assignments. It’s not limited to essay writing, though. You could use this program in any content class that you want students to get feedback on. Even something as simple as a homework assignment could be uploaded for a quick collaboration before turning them in. You can create your own rubrics, so it’s not limited to just writing assignments. Students could evaluate just about anything, as the platform allows them to upload videos, audio, slideshows, PDFs, spreadsheets, and such.
I think you could also potentially use it to have all students grade a mentor or model text. You can upload the model text at the front of the assignment page and then simply move all students past the first step to get them to the rubric part. Then, you could follow it up with a discussion about the scoring.
PeerGrade is a great tool to help get students talking about each other’s work in a very organized way. I’ve not come across a better way to do peer revisions yet.
Check it out. Just follow this link to get started today.