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Do you want your students to be able to view each other’s work?

Image showing students collaboration on laptops

How can students view each other’s work? According to Sahar Valizadeh, there is no right or wrong answer, just different strategies!

By Sahar Valizadeh 

Many people ask how to go about allowing students to access each other’s work. Sometimes it is because the course structure is based on students working on different themes with the expectation that the result will be shared with others, but more often the question is asked because they want the students to practice peer review.

If the course is in Canvas, lecturers have a couple of different options to choose from. The option you choose depends entirely on what your goal is and how you have structured your course. There is no right or wrong, only different strategies. Below are a couple of different approaches along with possible scenarios:

Below are a couple of different approaches along with possible scenarios:

Peer review:

Example: Bachelor’s degree project in which each student is to peer-review another student’s work. As a lecturer, you are to comment on the student’s individual work as well as on their peer review. 

Include peer review in your assignment and ask Canvas automatically to distribute one or more projects to the same student. The student will then have access to the work of their peer, and the opportunity to submit their review to the lecturer for reading and approval. Note that you can also choose to assign projects to students manually.

Discussions:

Example: The students are divided into two groups: Lund and Helsingborg. These are subsequently divided into 16 smaller groups. The students have the task of writing their own reflection and commenting on those of their group members. As a lecturer, you want to be able to comment on your own reflection but you do not need to have access to the comments made on other people’s reflections as these will be presented orally during the upcoming seminar. 

Use a discussion thread for submission. The student uploads his or her submission as a post and you can review and grade it through SpeedGrader. In the settings, you can permit students to access each other’s posts once they have made their own.

If the students on the course are divided into groups, you can specify this in the settings. Consequently, only students who are part of the same specific group can access each other’s work. A group can be composed of all students or several small groups. 

Assignment + files:

Example: The students have been assigned to research a certain theme from different countries’ perspectives every week. As everyone studies different countries, it is important that they regularly have access to each other’s work and reflections. As a lecturer, you want to be able to comment on the individual work, but you will not follow up on whether the students read each other’s work. The lecturer creates a files folder with theme-based subfolders where all submissions are uploaded.

The students submit their work. The lecturer downloads them and then uploads them in an open files folder to make them accessible to everyone.

Assignment + groups:

Example: The students have been assigned to find two articles that argue for and against a certain topic, after which they are to comment on two of their fellow students’ positions. There is no organised group division; students are free to choose. As a lecturer, you want to be able to comment on individual work, but you will not follow up on whether the students have read each other’s work. You trust that the students will share material with one another and, with the relevant instructions, you leave it up to them.

Create a group that includes all students. In the assignment, there is information that students must upload their assignments in two places, both through the assignment and in the file folder on the group page.

Assignment + discussion board:

Example: The students have been assigned to research a certain theme from different countries’ perspectives every week. As everyone looks at different countries, it is important that they regularly have access to each other’s work and reflections. As a lecturer, you want to be able to comment on individual work, but not follow up on whether the students have read each other’s work. Instead of creating a files folder structure, create discussion threads for each theme and give students the responsibility to upload their material there.

The students submit their assignment and upload it in the subsequent discussion forum, where the students can also upload their peer review.