Calibrated Peer Review™ assignments in science courses: Are they designed to promote critical thinking and writing skills?
Calibrated Peer Review (CPR), an online program that purportedly helps students develop as writers and critical thinkers, is being increasingly used by science educators. CPR is an enticing tool since it does not require instructors to grade student writing, and instructors can adopt assignments directly from a library. Given that library assignments are of unknown quality, we analyzed the underlying pedagogies of a representative sample. We found that between 47-67 % of assignments are designed to promote critical thinking and less than a third promote the development of higher-order writing skills. While we support the CPR concept, we recommend that the current library be used with caution, a CPR users manual be written (with detailed instructions for creating high-quality writing assignments), and, in the future, that the CPR library be limited to peer-reviewed assignments.
Reynolds, JA; Moskovitz, C
Journal of College Science Teaching
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