Political Science Education and the Profession

Feedback Loop: Reflections from a Peer Review-Intensive Seminar

Colin Brown Northeastern University
In this teaching paper, the author reviews the teaching and learning literature on student peer review in higher education to generate a list of best practices, as well as a list of accessible and immediate research questions. The author then reflects on their experience implementing these in the form of a peer review-intensive senior capstone seminar in the Spring of 2019. While the course received high evaluations and allowed students to generate a useful writing portfolio, finding evidence of the effectiveness of extensive peer review remains difficult and uncertain. The paper includes a number of templates and options for building an extensive peer review process into upper-level political science courses, and discusses the trade-offs experienced in scheduling class time for peer review and teaching students how to give (and receive) effective comments on each other’s work.