Exemplars Aligned to the Peer Review Rubric

Click for examplarsWe’ve posted about the peer review of online courses a few times (search for Peer Review) in the past. Today we’re excited to announce that, similar to the sharing we’ve doing with our Faculty Challenges, many faculty have shared examples from their courses that showcase different ways of meeting the Peer Review Rubric’s standards.

We’ve posted these Peer Review Exemplars, with faculty permission, in a public Google Doc and we hope that you will take a look at some of the ways your colleagues are meeting the peer review standards. We want to keep adding examples to this list. If you are interested in sharing something you feel meets the rubrics standards, please send it to ksbaldwin@alaska.edu and we’ll add it to our document.

One of the real values of the peer review checklist/rubric is that you can self-assess your course(s). Beyond the value of self-assessment, participating in a review, formal or informal, allows you to gain insights from other faculty on different ways or strategies to accomplish something. It isn’t often that we have the time to step inside someone else’s classroom and see first hand how they deliver their content. Peer review gives us this opportunity.

If you haven’t had an opportunity to look at the UAS Peer Review for Course Improvement process, we have a Presentation for you to view. Additionally, here is the Peer Review Rubric and Checklist both found on the IDC website.

We’re very interested in your thoughts on our rubric, the process, the value and the exemplars to please comment below!

Starting soon, we’ll begin the 2014-2015 Peer Review Thru The Lens meetings. If you missed these sessions last year, they are 1 hour-long sessions where we look in depth at one of the peer review standards through the lens of one or two real courses. Our first session will be a close look at Standard III: Assessment and Measurement. If you would like to share your course assessments, both formative and summative and have faculty look at how your course meets Standard III of our rubric, please contact Kathi.


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    • Lori Hart on October 15, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Thank you for compiling this great collection. Having the exemplars broken down for each standard is wonderful!!

  1. And, if you have something in one of your courses that you’d like to see added to the list– please let us know. We’re happy to post even more examples of how people are meeting the standards inside their courses.

    I’m glad that you found the exemplar site useful!

    • John Blanchard on October 15, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    The Treasure Hunt is a great idea. Thanks to Charla for sharing her example.

    • Ron Levy on October 16, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Patti’s welcome presentation is a good idea, clearly narrated and helpful. I like the idea of summarizing the important points of the syllabus. I would put the Start Here as top most link above Announcements, then after first week, move below.

    In general, I think the Adobe Presentation formats are a bit dry, but I don’t know how adjustable they are to add some energy or other kicks. I would keep the welcome intros short like Patti’s, though I think the 17 points can be kept to almost the same time length but edited and combined down to maybe 5-10 subtitles. Pics used are a bit traditional and blurry; would want to use more relevant campus-specific pics from real settings. Love the scavenger hunt idea and need to see how to use and maybe rephrase it.

    • Ron Levy on October 16, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Liked Mary and Kathi’s bio pages. Mary’s was short and sweet, good idea with voice threads, though I might prefer youtube video and link…took a while for the VT to load (and the quick VT promo flash page is confusing and annoying), and youtube would keep bandwidth down.

    Kathi’s intro was also good and well done with variety of photos and music. Made it almost seem like a video. Didn’t know you lived in Palau, one of my favorite destinations! The Jing video lists 5:00 minutes at the left, which almost made wait to watch it at a later time, but it was only a little over 2 minutes. I guess 5:00 is a time limit on Jing?

    • Ron Levy on October 16, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Marnie’s Prezi is fantastic. Except that there was no sound throughout, except at the end. This was unclear and I was fumbling the whole time to find why the sound wasn’t working. Maybe a sound intro in the beginning would have helped.

    Also, the closeup zooms to text weren’t long enough to read them.

    Would love to know 3 things:

    1) How she did the special graphics, zooms, etc.
    2) Why Prezi isn’t adopted into Bb or other UA toolkits?
    3) Drawbacks compared to youtube, Adobe Presentation, Camtasia?

    1. Maybe Marnie would like to address some of your comment, but I’ll reply to parts of your questions. The zooming happens in Prezi pretty much automatically or at your command. That’s what makes Prezi so unique. It allows you to order where the focus from one spot to another,and allows you to change the size and the location of your text boxes.

      Prezi is free hence we don’t have to include it as part of the UA toolkits. The biggest advantage to a paid license is that you can edit your Prezi offline. Otherwise, the free version seems to be adequate.

      For me, the biggest drawback to a Prezi is that making them look good is challenging. Often the movement isdone in ways that I think detracts from the presentation. In many ways Adobe Presentations are just easier to create, though perhaps less exciting.

      • Marnie Chapman on October 16, 2014 at 5:30 pm

      Hi Ron,

      Thanks for your comments. One of the issues to be aware of with Prezi is that it will either auotplay, or allow the user to set the pace. It all depends on what button the user clicks to begin – and this is NOT obvious. I am thinking you may be viewing it in autoplay.

      My Prezi was not designed for autoplay and won’t work well in autoplay. It’s important that the user set the pace. For one thing, as you noticed, there is no time to read the text in the autoplay mode. And I get sea-sick watching it in autoplay! (Authors can choose how long to linger on each slide in autoplay, but only if you do not add sound. Once you add sound you can’t change the time on each slide – it just goes really fast. Go figure.)

      There is a sound intro on my first slide, but maybe it does not come through on autoplay mode.

      So… for me, it’s really important to steer students away from autoplay and to the self-pace viewing mode. I try and do that by setting up my Prezi with the following graphic at my website (follow link to view):


      Your other questions:

      I used a Prezi template (there are tons at the website). They come with built in graphics, zooms, etc. I had to alter it a bit, but the tools are user friendly.

      In comparison to other programs, I liked Prezi because it was holistic and non-linear. I wanted to go back and forth between the big picture and the details and Prezi is ideal for this. I tried figuring out how to convey the same information through a regular video or Power Point and I just could not get it to flow. Prezi works like a big concept map and it really helped me find the structure for everything I wanted to get across. And it felt more like I was creating a painting than creating a lecture – that was a fun change for me.


    • Ron Levy on October 16, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    In Char’s scavenger hunt, wondering why she required students to contact her for clues. Was it to force a communication, to monitor progress, or ? Seems like a labor intensive way (for both) to lead students through a course outline.

      • Charla on October 16, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      Hi Ron – thanks for your question!

      The treasure hunt absolutely was a way to force communication. It was also an experiment I conducted after taking ED593 in an effort to make the Start Here module more engaging, particularly as that personal connection between professor/student is often very difficult to establish in the distance environment.

      In the spirit of full disclosure, I did find the 3rd clue to be relatively useless and since I’ve incorporated the LinkedIn piece into other elements of the class, now I just have them text me once during the first week with an introduction of sorts (their location, employer, and class ID). This provides me with quick details I can easily reference when I need to reach back out to them which provides that personal touch (“So, how are things in Arkansas tonight?”). If that information only resides in Blackboard, it is easily lost and difficult to retrieve.

      With 100+ students online this semester, I truly value having that closer connection and because I enjoy texting, it allows me to make immediate responses a priority, especially since most of them are working full-time and only have pockets of time to work on school. Also, I’ve found that once students text me the first time, they are more likely to communicate when there are easy issues that can be immediately fixed before they become a problem for the entire class (i.e. an assignment isn’t visible on blackboard, clarification is needed on instructions, or something along those lines). Having said that, I’d say only 10% text me 2-3 times a semester or less.

      I do recognize and appreciate that this is not an activity that would work for all instructors but I think its a nice option to offer and some students even stay in contact via text after the semester is over. For example, I got a text this week from a former student who was having a layover in Seattle and she requested a book recommendation so she could make the most use of her time and another student has kept me updated on her job interviews. In my opinion, it has the potential to benefit the professor/student relationship in two ways: 1) it offers them a communication medium that they are comfortable with in their personal lives, and 2) it provides me with student relationships that are similar to those I enjoy when teaching in the classroom. I do believe they would not have developed without texting and I’m thinking there is a research study hiding here somewhere. 🙂

      Charla Brown
      NOV111 (stop by anytime and we can chat more about it!)

      1. Charla, your treasure hunt really hits to the heart of one of our upcoming subjects, the gamification of higher education. One of the elements that makes games fun and intriguing for players is detailed and instant feedback. That’s a principle of most games– when you make a mistake you get a hint or you die and are told what you did wrong so you can correct and jump back in.

        Your text messages provide your students with that same kind of instant feedback and communication. I love how you’ve managed to integrate it even in a class with 100+ students. And, most importantly, you are using technology that most of your students are quite familiar and comfortable with–their telephone.

    • ED593_studentlf on October 16, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Instructional activities has a person clearly doing two different activities. One incorporate and introduce material and second have the students respond. I would find it easier to separate into two different checks instead of one because it cuts down on the communication. It would then be clear what is missing. I would also change the word all to commonly used because otherwise I would be overwhelming my students with technology.

    1. That’s an interesting observation and hopefully, as we review it isn’t too difficult to look at both the materials being used and why they have been chosen (strategies). But it’s worth talking about. I am interested in your second point “change the word ‘all’ to commonly used” … but I don’t know what sentence or where that is. Can you please email me with more clarity? Thanks for your comment.

    • John Everson on October 16, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    WOW! I am very impressed with the imagery and creative thought reflected in the work that these folks put into their course set-ups. Having these samples will help a lot in designing my own.
    Thanks for setting this up! John E.

    • Shawn Bernard on October 19, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    This is a wonderful resource to utilize when building and designing an online course. I know that I will certainly take some solid examples and integrate them into my work.

    • Joel on October 28, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    There are some great ideas here and they showcase a variety of ways to engage people in something as simple as a layout or format. I have had students at this point even start to submit prezi presentations, makes me rethink information delivery. Unfortunately will forget about the different types of Ideas presented here by the time I am redesigning course layout, but will at a minimum be able to remember that there is a great resource developed that one can use to draw off of. Great work everyone.

    • Jim Seeland on November 2, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    I like the variety of exemplars provided here – some very creative methods of meeting each standard. Having real world examples posted is very helpful. I particularly liked the Introduction and Instructor bio’s. Online instruction can be pretty impersonal – I think an audio/video intro is important to set the stage for the rest of the course.

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