The Trending Prof

Anita Woods Ph.D., University Educator

Peer Pressure- Peer Wise

So I had the fortune of being exposed to pretty cool software, called PeerWise back in May at the Strategies for Success conference in Toronto.  In short, it’s a really easy to use website that students sign into and write their own questions (usually multiple choice).  Students then answer each others questions, rate the difficulty level and can correct or comment on the answer.  AWESOME! My students in my second year course have been asking for more practice questions.  Check.  I have also been trying to come up with learning activities that will help them learn the material inside and out of tutorial. Check.  I also wish they could appreciate just how hard it is to come up with a clear, fair, quality questions for exams. Okay, yes! Decided that I needed to give this a try.

So I am going to try it out with my second year class.  I think it will go over really well. We had an opportunity at WCSE 2013 to sit in a Workshop about PeerWise.  I am even more excited that my students will use this in their tutorials.  YOU GET BADGES!! Now, if Candy Crush wasn’t a bad enough addiction, I think PeerWise badges and points may be even more compelling.

However, at our session today, the goal wasn’t to come up with discipline specific questions since we were a mixed crowd (please don’t ask me a Physics question….that might not go so well).  The point today was just to try out the software and create some pretty random questions.  Well, my colleagues must be more academic then me.  I proceeded to post questions about Kim Kardashian, and my fav boy bands.  At first, I was actually a little fearful of posting these because I had a feeling others were going to go for a more academic approach and I would look like the pop culture freak.  BUT, I won the badge for the most “answered’ questions in our session.  Ha! Even scientists like answering questions about pop culture.

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