Calibrated Peer Review – A Teachers Friend

I like the idea of having students write in physics.  Too much emphasis on solving problems, not enough on thinking about and talking about physics.  But in large classes written assignments can be overwhelming to grade.  Ugh!  Along comes Calibrated Peer Review to save the day.  The idea is to get the students to grade one another.  This is always a scary prospect because each student has her or his own idea of how to grade.  Calibrated Peer Review gets around that by calibrating the review process.  For each assignment I need to come up with three sample writings, a good example, a mediocre example, and a bad example.  I also have to write a series of questions the students use to critique the writings.  The students go through each of my samples and grades them.  They then anonymously critique three of their classmates using the same set of questions.  Finally they have to critique their own writing.  Scores from students that did well on the calibrations are given more weight so the grades should be more in line with what I’d give.  I’m still playing around with it, but I’ll keep you updated on how it is going.

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