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Electronic Peer Review Builds Resources For Teaching Computer Architecture

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.480.1 - 8.480.11



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Paper Authors

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Edward Gehringer

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1532

Electronic Peer Review Builds Resources for Teaching Computer Architecture Edward F. Gehringer North Carolina State University


Electronic peer review is a concept that allows students to get much more feedback on their work than they normally do in a classroom setting. Students submit assignments to the system, which presents them to other students for review. Reviewer and author then communicate over a shared Web page, and the author has a chance to submit revised versions in response to reviewer comments. At the end of the period, the reviewer gives the author a grade. Each author gets reviews from several reviewers, whose grades are averaged. At the end of the review period, there is a final round when students grade each other’s reviews. Their grade is determined by the quality of both their submitted work and their reviewing.

This paper reports on our use of peer review in two computer architecture courses, a microarchitecture course and a parallel-architecture course. Students in these courses engaged in a variety of peer-reviewed tasks: Writing survey papers on an aspect of computer architecture, making up homework problems over the material covered in class, creating machine-scorable questions on topics covered during the semester, animating and improving graphics in the lecture presentations, and annotating the lecture notes by inserting hyperlinks to other Web documents. Students generally found these exercises beneficial to their learning experience, and they have provided resources that can be used to improve the course. In fact, with such a system, large classes are actually a blessing, since they produce better and more copious educational materials to be used in subsequent semesters.

1. Peer Review in the Classroom

Peer review is a concept that has served the academic community well for several generations. Thus, it is not surprising that it has found its way into the classroom. Dozens of studies report on different aspects of peer review, peer assessment, and peer grading in an academic setting. A comprehensive survey can be found in Topp 98. Experiments with peer assessment of writing go back more than 25 years [4]. Peer review has been used in a wide variety of disciplines, among them accounting [8], engineering [7, 10], mathematics [3], and mathematics education [6].

However, electronic peer review experiments have been much rarer. Although the Daedalus Integrated Writing Environment [1] is widely used for peer assessment of student writing, only a few computer-mediated peer-review experiments have taken place in other fields. An early project in computer-science and nursing education was MUCH (Many Using and Creating Hypermedia) [9, 11]. The earliest reported software program to support peer evaluation was evidently created at the University of Portsmouth [12]. The software provided organizational and record-keeping functions, randomly allocating students to peer assessors, allowing peer assessors and instructors to enter grades, integrating peer- and staff-assessed grades, and

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition 1 Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Gehringer, E. (2003, June), Electronic Peer Review Builds Resources For Teaching Computer Architecture Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11865

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