What is peerScholar?

peerScholar is an online pedagogical tool that supports the development of critical and creative-thinking skills. It is an online peer and self-assessment tool that allows students to provide anonymous peer feedback to their classmates’ assignments. peerScholar is integrated with DC Connect, which means setting up an assignment and grading an assignment are seamless. No additional login information is required; everything is managed within DC Connect.

How does peerScholar work?

peerScholar assignments require students to create, assess, and reflect.

  • In the Create Phase, students submit a digital composition as defined by the instructor. Any form of digital media can be used including essays, sound files, and video files.
  • In the Assess Phase, students provide constructive feedback to their peers’ work. Their peers’ work is randomly-selected and anonymous. Students then assess their own work with the same mindset.
  • In the Reflect/Revise Phase, students see the peer reviews of their own work, and can formally assess each piece of feedback. They can also be required to submit a revision informed by the peer feedback.

Faculty can evaluate the assignment, as well as the students’ peer reviews, if desired. These grades would be passed back to the DC Connect gradebook.

Here is a very short video on how the peerScholar works:

Support for using peerScholar

Support for peerScholar can be as customized as needed and/or requested:

  • Training opportunities will be available during the October reading week.
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to use peerScholar will be available Tuesday, September 24th. In the meantime please reference Additional supports are available on peerScholar’s help page. A help icon is also available in PeerScholar (bottom right corner on all pages in the application). Tip: With the new “Instructor Student View” feature in DC Connect, you can see how peerScholar will look to your students!
  • Looking for additional professional development opportunities? peerScholar has a two-hour online training course that explains the pedagogy behind the tool and powerful use-cases with research. This training is online, free and includes a certificate.
  • As always, CTL is here to support!

Please note that peerScholar is a pilot at Durham College during the fall 2019 semester, so we would encourage those of you who use the tool to provide us with feedback.

Documentation on how to use PeerScholar can be found in this PDF.

PeerScholar [PDF]