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Circuit is now available
Circuit, the new peer review tool developed at Purdue, is now available for instructors to use! Circuit allows for simple and calibrated peer review for text, documents, videos, web sites, and more. Learn more about Circuit!
Gradient will be decommissioned at the end of the 2019 calendar year.
In 2003, the National Commission on Writing in America's Schools and Colleges identified
writing as neglected foundational skill in the American curriculum. Among the solutions to this problem the
commission presented was a call for educators at all levels to avow themselves of instructional technology that
“enhance the ability of students and teachers to assess writing samples” and permit students to
share and edit their work with each other” (The neglected “R”, 2003).
Gradient does this and more. It affords Purdue instructors the ability to:
- have any course (even large enrollment courses) participate in peer review
- calibrate reviewer writing expectations for quality control (Gerdeman, Russell, &
- provide structure and guidance for students reviewing peer writing
- use course-specific scholarly material as a guide to student writing
- give automated as well as peer-reviewed feedback
Research on the topic of peer review supports many of the current features of Gradient. Receiving peer review
can improve student performance and understanding, but it isn’t always feasible for a single instructor to
provide detailed feedback to every student (Trautmann, 2007; Pelaez, 2002). By allowing students to review each
other’s assignments each student can potentially receive more in-depth reviews even at scale in large
lecture (100+ students) courses (Ruggiero & Harbor, 2012).
Using researched-based methodologies for structuring peer-review, Gradient incorporates calibrations in its
writing framework as a means to evaluate the work of their peers and provide self-reflection (Prichard, 2005).
Additionally, Gradient’s usage of calibration and peer review can assist students in learning and
becoming comfortable with discipline specific writing conventions (Rourke et al., 2008).
National Commission on Writing in
America's Schools and Colleges. The neglected “R”: The need for a writing revolution. New
York: College Board. (2003). Available: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED475856
R. D., Russell, A. A., & Worden, K. J. (2007). Web-based student writing and reviewing in a large biology
lecture course. Journal of College Science Teaching, 36(5), 46.
Pelaez, N. J. (2002).
Problem-based writing with peer review improves academic performance in physiology. Advances in
physiology education, 26(3), 174-184.
Prichard, J. R. (2005). Writing to
learn: An evaluation of the Calibrated Peer Review™ program in two neuroscience courses. J Undergrad
Neurosci Ed, 4, A34-A39.
Rourke, A.J., Mendelssohn, J.,
Coleman, K., and Allen, B. Did I mention it’s anonymous? The triumphs and pitfalls of online peer review.
Proceedings from the Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education, 2008
Ruggiero, D., & Harbor, J.
(2012). Calibrated Peer Review (CPR) Effective writing assignments online with much less instructor time.....
But what do the students think? In T. Amiel & B. Wilson (Eds.), Proceedings of EdMedia: World
Conference on Educational Media and Technology 2012 (pp. 981–991). Denver, Colorado, USA:
Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/40873
Trautmann, N. Interactive learning
through web-mediated peer review of student science reports. Educational Technology Research and
Development, 57, (2009) 685-704.
How Do I Set it Up?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with
the name of the course you'd like added to Gradient, along with a brief description, and it will be set up for
you. Course details can then be edited and learners and instructors added under the "Manage Courses" section of
the Instructor Dashboard.
Professor of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
Director of Digital Education and Associate Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning
"This is a game changer – a new way to do writing assignments in a large enrollment class."
Professor, Agricultural Economics
"Information in the real world doesn’t come at students in nice multiple choice questions. It comes in
free-flowing forms. With Gradient, students can get credit for applying course concepts to real issues in a
form they will encounter the rest of their lives."