What’s new in Calibrated Peer Review 5

Calibrated Peer Review 5 (CPR5) includes many minor additions and enhancements, as well as these major new features requested by users:

CPR5 lets students upload files

When you activate an assignment you can now allow your students to upload a file during text entry. Students can add a picture, graph, spreadsheet, video, presentation, poster, or anything else you want. This new feature is robust and has been tested successfully in large classes with minimal instructions to students.

This new feature is flexible: You can make the file upload mandatory or optional. This means that all existing assignments can be used in CPR5 without modification. (Screenshot: Set Miscellaneous Options.) You may also modify or create a new version of an assignment that includes an upload, thus, giving you and others more flexibility in your courses.

CPR5 assignment scoring is much faster than before

While maintaining the fundamental meshed scoring that connects up to 27 students together in any score, CPR5 decreases the calculation time by more than an order of magnitude. For example, scoring a typical class here at UCLA would take about 5 minutes in CPR4. In CPR5, scoring a similar-sized class takes less than 15 seconds.

What’s new in Calibrated Peer Review 4

Calibrated Peer Review 4 (CPR4) includes far too many new and improved features to list in detail. Some of the major changes to the software are described briefly below.

Whether you’re acting as an institution’s CPR administrator, as an instructor, or as an author of CPR assignments, you’ll find many advantages to using CPR4.

CPR is now a distributed system

The features of previous versions of CPR are now split into two components, called CPR Central and CPR Local.

CPR Central, located at UCLA, provides a place for authoring, storing, and sharing assignments. This central assignment library includes all assignments that were part of the old CPR server library. Unlike the old library, the new central assignment library is continually growing as assignments are created by the community of CPR authors.

CPR Local is installed on a server at your institution. Your students’ records and work is stored entirely on your own campus, safely behind your firewalls. Your copy of CPR Local communicates with CPR Central only during assignment activation. After an assignment is copied to your CPR Local, you are no longer dependent on the CPR Central server here at UCLA. You and your students will no longer have to share a server’s processing power and resources with other institutions.

General improvements to CPR

All users of CPR at your institution will quickly notice these improvements:

  • We’ve cleaned up CPR and made it more attractive, with lighter colors and consistent fonts throughout the program. Colors and fonts are specified in cascading style sheets, so you or your IT people can easily customize the program’s look if you don’t like it as is.
  • All users can now manage their own profile within CPR: correct their name, change their password, and change their e-mail address. This makes life easier for administrators and instructors, because they won’t be asked to do things that students can now do themselves.

New and improved features for authors

If you use CPR to author assignments, you’ll enjoy these features of CPR4:

  • Each task in authoring an assignment is no longer considered finished merely because you entered some text. You can now mark a task “Finished” or “More work needed.” An assignment isn’t considered finished until you say it’s finished. (Screenshots: Manage Assignments, Author Assignment.)
  • You can now search for assignments in the central assignment library by title, description, subject, user level, keyword, or author. (Screenshots: Search Assignment Library, Available Assignments.)
  • If you find an assignment in the library, but it doesn’t meet your needs as is, you can easily copy it so that you can modify it for your own use.
  • You can use the new citation directory to see who has activated one of your assignments for use by a course, and who has modified one of your assignments. (Screenshot: Citation Information.)
  • A new downloadable authoring manual provides examples and alternative approaches to authoring an assignment. You’ll also find helpful hints and tips from experienced authors displayed directly within the authoring tools.

New and improved features for instructors

As an instructor using CPR, you’ll benefit from the following improvements in CPR4:

  • We’ve reworked CPR’s scoring system and have achieved significant improvements in speed. This means you’ll spend far less time waiting for student results!
  • When setting up an assignment’s timing, you can now include pauses between the stages of the assignment. This lets you schedule class discussion time or review student progress during an assignment. (Screenshot: Assignment Timing.)
  • If you’re using a tool that requires you to select a user, you can now do so from a table of all users in your institution or in your course. You can filter these tables by letter, so you can see only student’s whose last names begin with A, B, C, and so on.
  • You can choose to give students partial credit if they submit their calibration reviews after the deadline has passed.
  • You can now download peer feedback for questions or ratings in a single file.
  • You can allow students to see the other peer reviews of the assignments they reviewed.

New and improved features for students

Some of the changes we’ve made to CPR will appeal to your students, including:

  • We’ve redesigned the tour students take the first time they use CPR, and have included a diagram to better explain how they’ll progress through an assignment.
  • When students need to retake a calibration, their previous answers are now remembered, so they won’t have to answer every question all over again.
  • Another helpful feature for students is a table of HTML formatting tags that they can display while they’re working on their text entry.
  • We’ve added more information to the display of student results, and also made a downloadable handout available to students, so they can better understand their scores and how they were calculated.