Frequently-asked questions

How long do assignments take?

Generally, assignments of any substantial length are scheduled for a week to ten days with the time apportioned to each of the sections of the assignment depending on how long the assignment is.

Why is there a due date for the text submission and not just the whole assignment?

CPR randomizes all the submitted texts before peer review so that late submitters are equally likely to have an early submitter as a reviewer as another late submitter and vice versa. In addition, if some students do not complete the peer review stage of an assignment, there is little probability that a student will not have any peer reviews.

Why does CPR have an end time for reviewing the calibrations before peer reviews can begin?

CPR separates the calibrations from the peer reviews for two reasons. Often instructors want to pause the assignment after the text entry or the calibrations to talk to the class about the evaluation process. This can be built into the timing if you want to do this.

Second, without this stop, students could copy another’s calibration results without really doing them and thinking about the evaluation process. Since the program assesses a student’s reviewing competence based on the answers for the calibrations, a copier would appear to be a better reviewer than they really are. This compromises the training component of the assignment through the calibration stage and undermines student confidence in the reviewing process.

If I am not concerned about copying, is there a way to allow a student to begin peer reviews immediately following the training?

Yes, you can essentially bypass the built-in synchronous sequencing when you are setting up (activating) an assignment. To do this:

  1. Set the length of time for students to perform the calibration stage, ie the Calibrations period, for 5 minutes,
  2. DO NOT penalize students for doing the calibrations late,
  3. DO NOT use the default RCI of 0 if students do the calibrations after the due date.
  4. Set the start time of the peer reviews at the same time as the end time of the calibrations.

Since no student will finish all the calibrations in 5 minutes, this set of parameters will, in effect, give you a continuous process for students to be able to begin the peer reviews immediately following the training.

If a student misses the text entry, can they still do the calibration training and peer reviews.

No, a student cannot do peer reviews without a text submitted.

Can CPR accept late text submissions?

There are two instructor tools in the program that let you as accept late texts if you wish. Both options are located under your Tools menu.

  1. You can submit the text for a student by uploading the file after the posted due date.
  2. You can extend the text submission deadline (or any of the other timings) for an individual student.

The first option involves fewer interactions with the student and may be more efficient particularly if they have just missed the deadline. The second option requires the student to still take responsibility for submitting his or her work.

What happens if a student misses the calibration stage end time?

In all cases, if students have completed the text entry, they can do the calibrations and reviews afterwards regardless if they missed the calibrations end time and the assignment has not ended. Depending on the assignment settings you chose when you activated the assignment, these students may get only a percentage of the grade for the calibration training component of the assignment and may or may not (RCI = 0) have their reviews count towards their peers text scores.

What happens if a student forgets to finish the peer reviews?

You may extend the end time for the assignment for any student if you wish.

Does CPR have a way to detect plagiarism?

CPR does not have a plagiarism check built in. If your institution subscribes to a service such as students can be required to submit their texts to the plagiarism checking program at the same time as they submit their text into the CPR program.

If I don’t want my students to learn HTML, can they still format their texts?

Currently CPR does not have a WYSIWYG feature in the text entry. That is being developed for CPR6. Although it bypasses the word count feature, students can prepare a traditional paper with symbols, images, or visuals and upload the document as a file instead of putting text into the text box.

I want to talk to my students about peer review and show them examples before they start the calibration stage but after they have written their texts. How can I do this?

This is easy. You should build in the time period between text entry end time and calibration training start time to accommodate and include your scheduled class discussion time.

If I discover a mistake in the answer key, can I change it?

Changes can be made to any part of the assignment prior to the beginning of the calibration stage of an activated assignment. No changes can be made to the calibration questions or answers after students have entered the calibration stage of an assignment.

If I edit an assignment in the library that I’ve already activated, will the activated assignment be updated automatically?

No. When you activate an assignment, the assignment is copied from the central assignment library to your local copy of CPR. If you edit the assignment, the activated copy of the assignment won’t be automatically updated. To update the activated assignment, on the Assignment Home page, click Tools, click Assignment Settings, and then click Update Assignment.

A student submitted her text and it was reviewed by three peers. However, all these peers missed the calibration deadline. They were permitted to move on but their scores are discounted. So, she had the bad luck of getting three of these and now has no score? There also seems to be other problems here.

The student should have been assigned her self-assessment score. However, since it looks like she only did one review, she never finished the assignment and never got to the self-assessment either. Whether or not she had finished, because at least one of the peers who evaluated her has a Reviewer Competency Index (RCI) of 0, she will be put on your problem list for you to decide the score. If none of the reviewers are judged reliable (either because they did the calibrations late or the did not pass them) then there should not be a peer review score evaluating her work. The program is working here as it was designed to do.

That said, the peers who did the calibrations late, may actually have taken them seriously and be good, just tardy, students. Their scores for the reviews are based on how consistent they are with their peers’ reviews even if they are Johnny-come-lately.

When you set up the program you can choose to have reviews by those who do the calibrations late (after the results have been released to others) either count for peers’ scores or not. One of the major causes of concern of students is that they are reviewed by students who just copied the answers for the calibrations and did not do the calibrations themselves and so are really not trained properly. I know my students are much more comfortable with the review process when they know they are evaluated by peers who seriously considered how to score others.

How much time is required to install and maintain CPR?

Once you have a server that matches the system requirements for CPR, installing, configuring, and customizing the software should only take an hour or so. No additional regular maintenance is required. However, we do recommend that you back up the contents of the CPR folder as well as the CPR database.