Calibrated Peer Review

Calibrated Peer Review (CPR)[1] is a system developed at UCLA as a means by which students are instructed on how to conduct anonymous peer review. This serves not only to instruct them on the concept of peer review, but also assess both their peer reviewing skills, as well as their ability to write content that will pass peer review.

In this system, students first write and submit an essay. Then, they are given guidelines for judging similar essays, and must prove their competence in this peer review by correctly judging three essays that have already been evaluated. Only then, are students tasked with assigning scores to three essays written by their peers (all articles and student peer reviews are anonymous to the students). Students are graded both on their own essay, as well as their ability to agree with the parallel assessments of their peers. In a private conversation, Professor Cavanaugh of Wright State Lake Campus claimed that this is a cost-effective way to teach, provided one subtracts out the time it takes for the instructor to learn the system. According to one published study of CPR:

"Students who received feedback by the instructor in a traditional way did not improve their writing and critical reasoning from assignment to assignment, but students who responded to an identical writing prompt and worked though the CPR process did."[2]


  1. See
  2. Balfour, Stephen P. "Assessing writing in MOOCs: Automated essay scoring and calibrated peer review (tm)." Research & Practice in Assessment 8 (2013)