well, I thought I was going to be writing a really positive blog entry about how peer review was actually great and I’ve grown to love it, yada yada yada. but after this last review, I honestly can’t. the other reviews have been helpful and I have grown from them, but this one was useless. it’s four hours from midnight, and I haven’t received any comments on my essay. also, the people in my group barely wrote essays. they were more like brainstorms. not only was there nothing for me to comment on, but there was also nothing to spark my thinking or help me make sure that I had done the essay correctly. I guess I can’t really blame the concept of peer review when this issue was really just the fault of other students, but it made me kind of mad because I was looking forward to feedback and haven’t gotten any.
overall though, I’ve enjoyed the requirement of peer review. I loathed the idea of it at first but in the end, it gave us more time to perfect our projects and helped us to see them through the perspective of other people. I’d say the most useful aspect of review was that we had a significant amount of time to review each other’s papers and then review the comments before we finally had to submit them. peer review wouldn’t make much sense if it was rushed or we didn’t have a chance to actually apply others advice.
working with peers this semester has helped me to become less of a grammar nazi, in that I didn’t just tear people’s papers apart and make them how I’d want them, but tried to stay objective and just make changes that empowered what they were saying. peer review is about helping your classmates improve THEIR writing, not getting your point across. I think that’s important to remember as some people who reviewed my work said things like “I would want this word here, but that’s just me.” well, great, I’m glad you have a different word in mind, but I chose this word for a reason. comments are more useful when the benefit the concept of the essay, not just the mechanics of it.
it was hard for me at first to take other people’s advice, but after the first review I saw that they mostly had good points and did catch errors that I was making. I usually don’t have people go over my writing because I feel I am so good at it, but now I know nobody is ever too good to need revision. I’ll definitely remember some of the advice they gave me and I’ll keep the skills I made in doing peer reviews for the rest of my career. peer review is something I will emphasize in my classrooms.
the only thing I didn’t like about these peer reviews were the google surveys. I felt like they were just added busy work and that if we really put effort into commenting, it was just repeating ourselves. also, I don’t like grading writing on a number scale. it seems impersonal and doesn’t really help the writer get a good sense of what exactly they were doing wrong or right. but that’s the only thing I would change about this course’s peer review process.