Jeff Grabill and Bill Hart-Davidson, Co-Creators
‘Feedback’ is a key component of learning and one of the most effective features of a class environment. And while there are different forms of feedback mechanisms employed by educators, peer review feedback (or simply, peer learning) is highly beneficial for students. Particularly in writing classes, numerous studies have corroborated the cognitive, linguistic, and social benefits it has on the development of writing. It provides students with opportunities to communicate and interact with their peers and generates a sense of group cohesion, promoting student-centered learning.
Why do some students and teachers still have reservations about peer learning?
Peer learning can often be a time-intensive process, especially when the learners are unfamiliar with it. Reading a draft, making notes, and then collaborating with another writer to reach a consensus requires time. Students and some instructors are skeptical of peer review because of past experiences with poor feedback or the belief that the teacher is the one with the sole responsibility to provide feedback. But contrary to these notions, teachers who empower students to provide feedback to each other are not shirking responsibility but creating a feedback rich classroom. However, the successful implementation of peer learning requires teacher planning and student training to enable effective feedback.
What if there were a precise technology and methodology to help teachers and students overcome hurdles and reap the benefits of peer learning in a classroom?
The search for such a solution often ends with Eli Review. Leveraging technology, Eli Review provides workflow and features that turn the traditional classroom into a studio where students can seamlessly collaborate with one another while the instructor can also oversee rich and engaged peer-learning. With an evidence-based technology and research-based teaching approach, Eli Review promotes critical thinking, helping students develop better writing skills.
This technological platform, which is grounded in the best teaching practices in the U.S. higher education, is the brainchild of two academics, Jeff Grabill and Bill Hart-Davidson, both Ph.D.'s with decades of teaching and research experience. They created Eli Review in the writing classrooms of Michigan State University when no technologies existed to support peer learning.
Over the years, Eli Review has grown to become the most effective platform in the market for facilitating peer learning.
With an evidence-based technology and research-based teaching approach, Eli Review promotes critical thinking, helping students develop better writing skills
What keeps Eli Review ahead of its competition are the values that it brings to the classroom – visibility and scalability. Eli Review provides teachers with rich dashboards providing comprehensive information on student progress and problems at the individual, team, and class levels. Further, it helps instructors scale peer learning for large numbers of students. “If a teacher has 200 or 300 students in a class, it is difficult providing constructive feedback for each student. But with Eli Review, all students can provide constructive feedback to each other, enabling a positive learning environment,” concludes Jeff Grabill, co-creator of Eli Review.
Eli Review is pedagogy, not just a technology!
At the core of this simple and innovative pedagogical process lies a series of five steps:
Step 1: Assign Learners a Task - Create tasks to help guide learners through projects and focus their attention on specific learning goals.
Step 2: Guide and Provide Feedback - Create reviews, checklists, and prompts in any combination to match learning goals.
Step 3: Debrief and Process Feedback - View peer feedback in real-time, helping learners make good decisions on how to revise.
Step 4: Plan Revisions - Plan revisions to prompt students to reflect on feedback, making their thoughts visible for themselves and for instructors.
Step 5: Analyze and Iterate - See improvement in students’ learning, in the feedback they give and receive, and in plans they make for revising their writing and their understanding of course concepts.
Today, instructors use Eli Review in a diverse range of disciplines, including 3rd grade ELA, 7th grade Spanish, 9th grade Social Studies, First-Year Composition, Computer Science, Biology, Physics, Law School, and graduate-level pharmacology. About 40,000 students use Eli Review daily, enabling rich peer learning environments in more than a hundred institutions. Eli Review continues adding schools and students every semester. Finally, Eli Review is gradually establishing an international footprint as well.
As digital learning tools continue gaining prominence, Eli Review is set to leverage the opportunity and further establish their position as a pioneering technology in peer learning. “The values of visibility and scalability we provide with our platform position teachers well to augment their students’ abilities. This, in turn, positions us as a must-have edtech platform in classrooms,” concludes Grabill.