Understanding assignment phases

From the student perspective, your peerScholar assignment has two or three major phases: Create, Assess, Reflect/Revise.

Once you’re logged into peerScholar and are on the tab for your course, you will see the active assignments. The current phase will be highlighted in green, with the dates for all phases shown. Any completed phases will be shown in red.

 

peerScholar Dashboard is shown for an English course. Four phases are shown - with the first phase (Create) being highlighted in Green, denoting it is the active phase.

Each phase has pre-set deadlines, and you are expected to complete them within the time allotted. It is important to complete all phases otherwise you may be penalized. Some instructors may assign a mark of 0 for the entire assignment if you do not complete all phases.

 

The label for the first phase, Create is shown.

Phase 1 is called Create. In this phase you will be given a question or assignment to complete. In some cases you may also be provided a rubric to help you understand how you will be graded. You may also be provided with a visual organizer or some other downloadable resources.

There are different assignment types in peerScholar. Often you will be provided with a text box to type in your response to the question or assignment. If you prefer, you can still author your response using Microsoft Word (or other program) and then copy & paste your answer into the space provided. Otherwise, you will simply type your answer into the text box.

Alternatively, you may be given a File Upload assignment where you are expected to submit a file (Word document, Audio file, Video file, etc.). In these cases, your professor will provide additional instructions to you.

After you complete Phase 1, you may also be asked to provide some self-assessment. It is important that you make a serious effort on this as part of your mark may be based on your ability to reflect critically.

 

The label for the second phase, Assess is shown.

Phase 2 is called Assess. Here you will be shown the submissions from a number of your peers, and asked to provide feedback. Usually this phase is done anonymously (e.g. you do not know whose work you are reviewing). The type of feedback you’ll provide depends on the assignment, but often you’ll be asked to provide some short comments and possibly rate your peers’ work on a scale (e.g. 1 to 10).

Remember, your peerScholar assignment mark may depend heavily on the quality of feedback you provide. So take this phase seriously! Also, after completing Phase 2, you may be asked to re-evaluate your own Phase 1 submission in light of the quality of work from your peers.

 

The label for the third phase, Reflect/Revise is shown.

Phase 3 is called Reflect/Revise. This phase may or may not be enabled for your assignment. When enabled, you will be shown the feedback on your own work written by your peers. This gives you the opportunity to take the lessons learned from phases 1 and 2 and to reflect on your original submission.

After reviewing the work of your peers, and after evaluating the feedback they have provided for you, you may be given the opportunity to then revise and re-submit your assignment.

Be sure to check the instructions or grading rubric provided by your professor. Often when Phase 3 is enabled, your overall mark will heavily depend on your ability to demonstrate critical thinking skills and to improve your response by incorporating the feedback provided by your peers.

 

The label for the fourth and final phase, Evaluate is shown.

Once all three phases are completed, your TA or professor will review your work from each phase and assign a final grade. Once the grade has been set, you will be able to review it inside the peerScholar application.

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