Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 11-20-2019


There is growing recognition that many college students enter the workplace lacking “21st Century Skills” such as critical thinking, collaboration and communication. Peer-to-peer feedback provides a large number of benefits, including these “lifelong learning” skills valued by industry. Peer review, however, poses many challenges: for instructors; these include management of the process and poor quality of peer feedback; and for students, socioemotional barriers. Key socioemotional challenges are learners’ lack of trust in the process, in their peers, and in themselves as reviewers. This paper describes a pilot of a web-based peer review software called “Peergrade”, which was found highly effective in terms of efficiency and enhancement of learning. Emerging research and our experience indicate that such software can significantly enhance peer review, helping to overcome multiple barriers inherent in the process. This paper will also discuss key features and their impact on learners and conclude with recommendations for implementation.


Peer to peer feedback has significant support in the literature as an effective pedagogical strategy that leads to a wealth of learning benefits, particularly lifelong, higher-level skills in the areas of communication, evaluative judgement, revision of work, and collaboration. Instructors who attempt to implement this strategy are faced with significant challenges, a number of which can be overcome with the use of peer review software. Such software greatly facilitates much of the set up and management of the process, allowing instructors to focus on important issues of students’ growth and progress in providing and using feedback. For instructors who believe that peer to peer feedback can have an important role in the growth of these skills, peer review software can be the catalyst to successful peer review practice.

Previously Published