Orientation to peer-collaboration and peer-critique

Peer collaboration and peer critique, when combined with a problem-centered instructional strategy, is the most effective way to learn. As a studio course this course has a strong emphasis on peer collaboration and peer critique. The following paper represents your instructors view on the importance of peer interaction.
Merrill, M. D., & Gilbert, C. G. (2008). Effective peer interaction in a problem-centered instructional strategy. Distance Education, 29(2), 199-207. [Click here for a copy of this paper.]

For the design and development of the project for this course you are encouraged to collaborate with one or two fellow students. You may select your own partners in your team. You should select your teammates within the first week of the semester. Groups of more than three become unwieldy and are not as productive. We have found that collaboration among three peers is the most effective group. For a variety of reasons some people prefer to work alone. Working alone is acceptable as long as you realize that you will probably have to work much harder because you will have to accomplish all of the tasks by yourself. There are existing course evaluation assignments as part of the learning experience for each task in this course that you will be required to complete on your own. These are clearly indicated in the description and assignment for each task.

A studio approach requires peer critique. The procedure is as follows: 

· Each student or team will have a forum assigned to them on the discussion board. 

· You should subscribe to those forums that represent the individuals or groups that you wish to critique. By subscribing you will receive an email when a message is posted to the forum. 

· When a message is posted you can then go to the forum, review the posting of the latest product, and post your suggestions to the forum.

The rules for critique are as follows:

· You critique the work of at least 2 other students or groups. If 2 students have already critiqued an individual or group choose another individual or group to critique. You are welcome to critique more than 2 if you would like in which case you can critique someone who already has 2 other critiques.

· Post your criticism within 48 hours of when a product is posted (this is the reason you need to subscribe so you know when there is a posting). 

· Provide constructive criticism. This means that when you feel something can be improved indicate how it could be improved and why it needs to be improved.







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