Using the Peer Review Tool in Canvas

Tracie Addy, Ph.D.

Former Associate Director of Faculty Teaching Initiatives

Canvas user since: Spring 2016
Courses on Canvas: B&BS 879

“Students can see the statement and the rubric in their Canvas course, as well as give comments and feedback directly on both.”

During her Lightning Talk at the Center for Teaching and Learning, Tracie Addy shared with her audience how she used the Peer Review function in Assignments to create a dynamic exercise for her students. 

The course, B&BS 879, Theory and Practice of Science Teaching for Life Scientists, was designed for postdocs and advanced graduate students, many of whom had not taught for some time. By giving the students a formal education in pedagogy and professionalization, the course was designed to prepare advanced graduate students and recently minted PhDs for the job market.

One requirement in B&BS 879 was to write a diversity statement. As Addy explains in the video below, there were two parts to the assignment. First, students had to write their own statements. Second, they were asked to imagine that they were already on a hiring committee, and to assess each other’s statements as a member of a hiring committee might.

Addy was able to create an Assignment in Canvas, select the “Peer Review” feature, and pair specific students with each other. Because Assignments also allow Instructors to attach rubrics, she was able to share the criteria each peer reviewer should use when reviewing their partner’s statement. Addy based her rubric on real-world criteria from an educational institution in California to give her students a broader understanding of the kinds of statements they should create.

The exercise was a success. Students were able to see the statements uploaded by their partners, make comments directly on the statements, and also provide feedback and comments on the rubric itself. Utilizing the dual functions of peer review and rubrics, Addy’s students were able to tally the scores themselves to gauge the efficacy of their statements. Addy points out that Instructors and Teaching Assistants were also able to see, comment, and otherwise review students’ work, as well. 



This video was published as part of Canvas @ Yale Lightning Talks on May 4, 2017, held at the Center for Teaching and Learning.