Part 5: Spring 2017 Labs

61 Peer-to-Peer with Tim Paustian — 02.27.2017

The February 13, 2017 Active Teaching Lab explored strategies for using Canvas’ peer review tool. Tim Paustian Tim-Paustianfrom Bacteriology shared how he uses the tool in Canvas to encourage peer-to-peer feedback and improve students’ writing.


  • The peer review function makes peer-to-peer feedback an efficient and seamless activity.
  • Tim has shifted from one major writing assignment to many minor peer-reviewed ones that lead up a final one. The students appreciate the scaffolding and feedback, and he has noticed a significant increase in the quality of writing as the semester progresses.
  • Initial reviews without a rubric resulted in superficial comments (looks good, missing comma, etc.), but the rubric helps them make better comments about the structure.
  • Tim now has student reviewers use the same rubric to provide feedback that he uses.
  • Tim currently has not found a good way to keeps track of student reviewer comments within Canvas, so he keeps track with a spreadsheet outside of Canvas.
  • View the session’s activity sheet for additional support materials.
  • For a detailed tutorial on using the Canvas Peer Review tool, click here.

Active Teaching Labs are held every Friday from 8:45-9:45am (and every other Monday from 12:30pm-1:30pm, see events calendar for dates) in room 120, Middleton Building. Check out the upcoming labs or read the recaps from past labs — or see them all in one place in our new Active Teaching Lab eJournal ( To stay informed about upcoming Labs, check back to this website or sign up for regular announcements by sending an email to

UW-Madison is transitioning to Canvas as a single, centrally supported LMS, and will discontinue support for D2L and Moodle by 2018. Visit for information and resources.

Watch Tim’s story:

Want to learn more? Watch the discussion that follows:


Active Teaching Lab eJournal Copyright © 2016 by DoIT Academic Technology and the UW-Madison Teaching Academy; Jennifer Hornbaker; John Martin; Julie Johnson; Karin Spader; Margaret Merrill; Margaret Murphy; and Jeffrey Thomas. All Rights Reserved.

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