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A Model for Graduate Peer Review Groups

"A Model for Graduate Peer Review Groups"
Iowa Writing Center Consortium Conference 2015
2:30-3:20pm    March 27, 2015 
Iowa State University, Ames, IA
Kelly Cunningham

The ability to give, receive and use constructive feedback on scholarly work is a critical part of becoming a member of an academic institution and a professional in a research field. With qualifiers often requiring students to obtain peer feedback on their work prior to submission, and journals relying on peer review to determine publication worth, peer review has become a central tenant of graduate student life.

To assist graduate students in developing skills to provide and use constructive feedback, our university has established peer review groups (PRGs). PRGs offer students an opportunity to cultivate a supportive professional scholarly community while investing in the process of critical and constructive peer review. Contrary to common notions of peer review, our model requires no exchange of papers, instead condensing the review process to an efficient community oriented weekly meeting.

This presentation will showcase the recent evolution of a graduate PRG model at a university. The presentation will elaborate on aspects of student access and placement in the groups, the structure of the groups, and scalability. How PRGs can promote student engagement with and visibility of the larger program will also be discussed. With a short time for questions and discussion and perhaps a demo of the review process, attendees should leave with a solid idea of how the groups work, including some of the challenges and benefits of various structure choices. This will provide attendees with a PRG blueprint they may adapt for their own graduate and undergraduate home institutions.