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Peer Grading Over The Web: Enhancing Education In Design Courses

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.415.1 - 4.415.11

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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 2532

Peer Grading over the Web: Enhancing Education in Design Courses

Edward F. Gehringer North Carolina State University


We have implemented a peer-grading system for review of student assignments over the World- Wide Web and used it in approximately eight computer science and engineering courses. Students prepare their assignments and submit them to our Peer Grader (PG) system in the form of one or more Web pages. Other students are then assigned to review the pages, with the submitter’s grade being assigned by the peer reviewers. Authors and reviewers can communicate via a shared Web page during the review period, where they post comments and answer questions in a double-blind fashion. Authors are notified by e-mail when a new review of their submission has been posted. They can update their submission in response to the review. We have experimented with a variety of approaches to facilitating good communication, including multiple deadlines for feedback per review period, and a scheme that rewards reviewers for helping their authors improve their submission. The educational experience has been very rewarding, for several reasons: It makes it more cost-effective to assign design problems, which are very time-consuming for a single individual to review. It forces students to learn to write clearly for their peers, since their grade depends upon it. It can be used to generate problems for future homework and tests, by assigning students to make up a problem involving the course material. It can be used to generate resources for students in a course, as students can be assigned to browse the Web for further material related to each lecture. It promises a scalable solution to managing large courses, because the work of the course staff increases less than linearly with the number of students.

1. Introduction

As technology marches onward toward the 21 st century, the rapidity of change forces educators to revise their curricula frequently, while high-tech industry seeks increasingly large numbers of graduates to foster further innovation. Both of these factors increase the demands on engineering faculty, who are faced with large numbers of students and large amounts of new material. To meet these demands, faculty need to get students involved as never before in their own education, helping to educate their peers. For if faculty provide an environment where students are actively engaged in teaching other students, members of large classes may actually benefit from more, rather than less, personalized instruction. For generations, the academic community has relied on peer review as a way of enhancing the knowledge base and encouraging serious scholarship. It has been praised as a cooperative learning technique. 1 However, the mechanics of peer review have required too much paper-

Gehringer, E. (1999, June), Peer Grading Over The Web: Enhancing Education In Design Courses Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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