ICT in the classroom: Task 2 peer review

This is the sixth post in a series I am writing about the ICT in the classroom unit I am coordinating this semester. The aim of the unit is to give initial teacher education students the opportunity to consider critically a range of issues of concern to all teachers who use ICT in their classroom. The unit is based on authentic learning principles and students use a range of technologies as cognitive tools to produce a meaningful unit of work that they will be able to use in their future teaching studies and careers.

Previous posts:

  1. ICT in the classroom: Course structure
  2. ICT in the classroom: Tasks overview
  3. ICT in the classroom: Task 1
  4. ICT in the classroom: Task 2 report
  5. ICT in the classroom: Task 2 video presentation

The final aspect of Task 2 is for students to complete four peer reviews. They will review both the written trends & issues report and the online video created by their peers for this unit. Students were given a specific date to have their draft reports and videos uploaded on their website so their work would be accessible to their peers. Students were allocated five days to complete the peer reviews and were encouraged to do a self-review of their own work before reviewing their peers to practice using the marking rubric. They then had three days in which to modify their work based on the feedback they received from their peers (optional). Students were advised to replace the draft versions with the final versions of their work before submitting the coversheet for marking.

The video below explains how ICT in the classroom students can access the automated online peer review marking system. Our sincere thanks to Dani Boase-Jelinek for creating this great system.

Peer-review video image
Peer review video image

The purpose of the peer reviews is to improve “student learning  while it is happening” (Pearce, 2011),  to provide them with opportunities to practice interpreting marking criteria and evaluating student work. It will also give them practice at providing constructive feedback to students.

There is quite a lot of literature discussing the benefits and challenges of peer reviews and a few examples can be found on the Peer review page on the Technology Toolbox for Educators wiki. This page also contains links to resources about giving constructive feedback.

Note: The video was recorded using Sliderocket an online slidesharing website.  The free online version allows you to upload video and audio files to your presentation and provides a range of editing tools and presentation settings. I found this technology very easy to use. I created the video using my iphone and the audio files using Audacity (free audio editor &  recorder). I had to convert the audio file to mp3 format to upload to sliderocket. I did this using the free LAME mp3 encoder which integrates with Audacity.

I am hoping students will read this post and add comments about their experience using the peer review system and their thoughts about the benefits and challenges of doing peer reviews. I would also like to hear about other educators experiences with using peer reviews as a pedagogical approach. I invite you to add comments and share your stories.