PEAR (Peer Evaluation, Assessment and Review) is an online peer review application developed by OpenEd at the University of Guelph. This tool assists instructors in facilitating the peer review process.


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The Peer Review Process

In an academic setting, the peer review process is employed to maintain standards, improve performance and provide credibility. It emphasizes writing as a process of editing and revisions, while the presence of an audience motivates authors to produce a higher standard of work. Through this process, authors learn to be analytical and critical as they get the opportunity to see the calibre of writing from others at their academic level. This comparative process influences authors to re-evaluate and improve their own work.

Why Use PEAR

The benefits of the peer review process are often overlooked due to the time, organization, resources and staff needed to make the process a smooth and successful one. This is especially true for larger class sizes. This is where PEAR comes into play. With the use of PEAR, much of the administration of a peer review project is actually facilitated and automated by the system, including:

  • Optional and flexible project stages
  • Predefined submission start, due, late and release dates
  • Acceptance and tracking of submissions of multiple documents and formats throughout the stages of the project
  • Assignment and distribution of submissions to peer reviewers (anonymously if desired) and/or instructors
  • Email confirmation and notifications throughout the process
  • User-created grading forms that can be reused and shared between projects and their stages
  • Allowance for group and self assessment
  • Grade calculation and export