Critviz is a web-based tool that was created to support peer critique in large classrooms. In learning environments where students’ work does not necessarily have clear “right” or “wrong” answers–particularly in the areas of writing and other creative arts–students can often benefit from detailed critical feedback from multiple perspectives which can clarify their direction. For this reason, such classrooms often employ peer critique sessions. 

While face-to-face critiques work well in smaller groups where all can have their work seen and discussed, CritViz’s development was driven by the question of whether a critique can be scaled up to larger classes of 100 students or more. Through CritViz’s countdown timers, assignment uploading, and randomized peer ranking, instructors can effectively scale the use of critiques to much larger classes and change the “motivational structure” of the students who use it, which has resulted in increases in student learning, motivation, and reflection on work. Although folk wisdom suggests that when it comes to class size, “Smaller is Better,” our work with CritViz points toward possibilities for increasing class sizes with little negative impact, even leading to a “Bigger is Better” phenomenon in the classroom.

You can read more about this project in the following papers:

Sadauskas, J., Tinapple, D., Olson, L., & Atkinson, R. K. (2013). CritViz: A Network Peer Critique Structure for Large Classrooms. In J. Herrington, A. Courous, & V. Irvine (Eds.), Proceedings of the World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (EDMEDIA) 2013 (pp. 1437–1445). Victoria, BC, Canada: AACE.

Tinapple, D., Olson, L., & Sadauskas, J. (2013). CritViz: Web-Based Software Supporting Peer Critique in Large Creative Classrooms. Bulletin of the IEEE Technical Committee on Learning Technology, 15(1), 29–35.