Calibrated Peer Review: A New Tool for Integrating Information Literacy Skills in Writing-Intensive Large Classroom Settings

Michael Fosmire
2010 portal: Libraries and the Academy  
Calibrated Peer Review™ (CPR) is a program that can significantly enhance the ability to integrate intensive information literacy exercises into large classroom settings. CPR is founded on a solid pedagogic base for learning, and it is formulated in such a way that information skills can easily be inserted. However, there is no mention of its application for information literacy in the library literature. A sample implementation of CPR in a course co-taught by science disciplinary faculty and
more » ... brarians at Purdue University is presented with recommendations for optimal use of this resource. CPR is a valuable new tool that librarians can use to further their collaborations with disciplinary faculty. 2 the inherent possibilities of CPR, the author has been unable to find any mention of Calibrated Peer Review™ in the library literature. This paper, which describes an effort at Purdue University, will hopefully raise awareness of the technique in the library community and its potential application to information literacy programs, creating a bridge from the science education literature to the library literature. Nancy Falchikov and Keith Topping have documented the benefits of peer review as a learning technique. 1 Well-crafted writing assignments probe all levels of Benjamin Bloom's taxonomy of educational objectives, from simple knowledge and comprehension, to the synthesis of ideas, and, ultimately, to the highest level of the taxonomy-evaluation. 2 The peer-review process appears almost exclusively in the evaluation level of Bloom's taxonomy, as students critique, recommend, and evaluate each other's (and their own) work. However, in large classroom settings, a substantial barrier to peer review is the sheer magnitude of the effort to collect and distribute writing samples, in addition to the challenge of quality control for grading. With those issues in mind, Orville Chapman, a chemistry professor at UCLA, developed the program Calibrated Peer Review™ ( He wanted to scale writing to a large classroom setting and introduce the scientific process of peer review to students. The CPR software program automates the entire process of submitting, distributing, and compiling grades for an assignment. Instructors at over 700 institutions, including faculty in statistics, biology, and communications at Purdue University, have adopted CPR. 3 The process is described more fully by Orville Chapman and Michael Fiore and Ralph Robinson, so only a brief outline is given here. 4 In essence, CPR consists of the following steps: • Students are given a writing assignment, often based on a reading selected by the instructor.
doi:10.1353/pla.0.0099 fatcat:g2kzzlo6t5hx7eb3tufhktduim