Chemistry Learning And Support Studios (CLASS) albums

Fullerton College

Las Vegas, CCSN

Albuquerque TVI

San Francisco, CCSF

Houston, Montgomery C.

* Bellevue CC

MolSci Adapted and Adopted

Fullerton College

Las Vegas, CCSN

Albuquerque TVI

San Francisco, CCSF

Houston, Montgomery C.

* Bellevue CC


16th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (BCCE), Michigan, August 2000

League for Innovation in the Community College,
Anaheim, November 2000

ACS National Meeting
San Diego, April 2001

ACS National Meeting,
Chicago, August 2001



Implementation Grid


Calibrated Peer Review Help for Instructors

by Dr. Tim Su, CCSF
FLASH Chemistry Consortium

This page last updated 3/1/07



Be sure to read the White Paper and FAQ at the CPR Homepage.

There are helpful handouts availabe in the Downloads section of the CPR Homepage.

A CPR flowchart overview.

General Help Email (a reply within 24-48 hours)
Please include your CPR username.

How do I access my account or course?
Contact your CPR Institution Administrator and ask for an account to be created.

  • Go to the CPR Login Page
  • Follow the New Users; First time login link.
  • Select your school from the list.
  • Enter your personal ID or student ID (this ID will be given to you by your CPR Institution Adminstrator)

Complete your profile by creating a password and a challenge question. You will be given your CPR username by the server.

You will use this username and the password you created to access all your CPR courses and assignments. If you are using CPR in more than one course, this username will allow you to access all of them.

If your personal ID or student ID is NOT recognized by the server, check with your CPR Administrator.

An Overview of CPR - powerpoint presentation

Assessment in an Online Learning Environment
Edward Matjeka and Gary Mercer, Department of Chemistry
Boise State University

(see their resource guide- available in PDF format)

An Overview of CPR - streaming video
Windows Media Player required:
directions and links to download the player (both Mac and PC)

CPR (Calibrated Peer Review)
Getting the Most Out of a Writing Assignment

Laurie Starkey, Associate Professor of Chemistry
Cal Poly Pomona

Mid Bandwidth | Low Bandwidth

Upcoming Workshops on CPR
Molecular Science Workshop page
Contact me for more details at

TIPS For Instructor/Designers

Place a link to the CPR Login Page (
on your own website or course webpages. Ask your campus computer centers, learning centers and libraries to put the link on their computers - easy access for your students. The CPR Homepage does NOT contain helpful information for them, but you could use
my student help page.

Use at least 2 CPR assignments in your course. The first to introduce the process and the interface to your students. The following assignments can then be on the topics YOU want to emphasize (and cover on your exams).

CPR requires much more time and effort than students usually put into a topic.

Topics of CPR assignments must be worth the students’ time and be an integral part of the course. Use: important scientific articles and discoveries; important social or scientific issues; significant topics in the course; prerequisite skills.

Be sure to "take" something out of your course requirements when you add enhancement activities like CPR. I stopped giving laboratory quizzes and replaced a few laboratory reports when I fully integrated my course(s).

Graphlab is an excellent one to start off a 1st semester General Chemistry course or lab with - the topic is "non intimidating" and we all know that they need to practice or learn to graph.

Send your classlist in the correct format to your institution administrator.

Do not use quotation marks in your Assignment Title when you activate it. It will make the link to your assignment invisible to your students and yourself. You will have to wait until the assignment is over before you can select it and delete it.

Participate as a student in your assignments. It is fun! You do not have to submit a "good" essay, but your students will think you have. It raises the bar. Don't worry if you have to retake the calibrations. I have failed them and even for the assigments that I authored.

Have your colleagues participate as students in your assignment. It is a good demonstration for them.

Do not use CPR as "extra credit" - you may find that participation and completion of assignments to be low.

Do not set a deadline on the Sunday night of a 3 day weekend, unless you want to receive a lot of email and visitors at office hours on Tuesday.

If you make a change in an assignment that you have authored, it is NOT automatically updated in the course that you are using it in. You must use the UPDATE tool in the activation menu of the assignment that is activated or in progress. Note: If your assignment is in the calibration stage or there is student calibration data, CPR will NOT update the calibrations, calibration questions and calibration answer keys. It will update all other components of the assignment (ie Source Material, Instructions etc).

A deadline of 12 midnight could be confusing to some students (is it 12 AM or 12 PM?), so we recommend 11:55 PM or 12:05 AM

Be cautious that your assignment is not in progress near the drop date for your term. Students who submitted text and then drop may cause some students to have less than 3 peer reviewers.

Students who miss the TEXT entry deadline will not be allowed to participate in the assignment. They do not see the calibrations and do not review peers. An instructor can always "put" a student back into the assignment using the SUBMIT text tool.

How do I learn to format TEXT when I am using the CPR Authoring Tools?

Here is a good tutorial on using HTML with CPR. It was originally designed by Dr. Steven Verhey, Biology Department, Central Washington University, to be used by students for CPR.

Incorporating CPR into your syllabus
Links to Instructors who have done so:

My 101B syllabus - Chemistry 101B
I regularly use 4 assignments, worth 25 points each in my gradebook. I also ask related essay questions on my exams.

Prof. Ken Chapman - Economics 200

Prof. Nancy Pelaez - Biology 310

Prof. Ruth Benca - Biology of the Mind

Why cannot I drop a student from my course, after an assignment?

You are not able to drop a student, because if you were to remove the student(s), their data will be deleted also. It will change the scores for the assignment or assignments that the student has participated in.

Nothing will happen in your next assignment. IF there is NO Text entered, the students are not part of the assignment.

We also put the "prevent" in because instructors would sometimes drop a student from the class in the middle of an assignment (me
several times and at workshops too). If TEXT had been entered and was already assigned by the CPR program for peer reviews - blank "text" would be assigned to students (still in the classs) to review. This caused confusion to students and instructors.

How are the reviewer's weighting factors assigned?


Weighting Factor













Philosophy of teaching with CPR

This is an email exchange between Dr. Arlene Russell and an instructor who was new to using CPR. I thought it would be of value to all instructors.

Hi Dr. Concerned,

I am forwarding this message to Tim and Krista also. Tim has a handout on interpreting results and can send that to you, and also look directly at your data with you if you want to discuss it one-on-one over the phone. I will comment below on the questions that students and your colleague have about the process.

{ Download the handout - Student Results }
Dr. Russell,

This is Dr. "Concerned" from the "University of Anywhere." I was in the CPR Authoring workshop that you and Tim facilitated a little while ago. I am currently using CPR in two of my courses. I have introduced the subject to the general chemistry students and they have gone thru the first assignment and are into the second assignment. Let me ask you several questions about the grading scheme if I may. I have the "more information score sheet" that I downloaded from the server, in front of me now. Let me indicate what I think it is saying and you correct me if I am wrong, OK?

The first column is the overall grade. The next two columns are text rating and score. I assume this is the rating given by the three reviewers of the student's text. Can you indicate to me how the rating(1-10) relates to the 30 pts possible? There are two columns with % style and % content values. Are these related to the text rating or to the calibrations that the student does themself? Again how does the average deviation for the calibrations relate to the score value of 30 pts? I have some students with an average deviation of zero but a score of only 10 pts and then average deviation of one with 20 or 25 pts. How is the RCIcalculated? I think I understand the reviews and self-assessment scores.

{There is handout available that explains the RCI;
Tim or the CPR Development Team}
OK. I have a philosophical question or two also. Another professor is questiong why I am doing this.

Really the only reason we can justify any instructional process, CPR included, is that it aids student learning. All our data indicate that students learn more through the kind of process of writing and evaluating that is set up in CPR. I would not argue the case on the basis of reducing and instructor's work load (or even not increasing it). Our jobs are to do the best we can to facilitate student learning. Your time is spent differently when you give CPR assignments. Monitoring and closely reviewing the whole process doesn't happen by itself. On the other hand, CPR assignments take time, and students like faculty only have 24 hours in a day. If we think we can get more learning for an hour on a CPR assignment than on writing a "canned" report, then we should be doing the CPR assignment.

I am doing the following in general chemistry. So as to cut down on the amount of work I or the student have to do I have eliminated 4 experiments from being graded. They still do the experiments and are responsible for them on quizes but I don't grade them as I have the CPR assignments in their place. I am doing 3 of 8 sections of general chemistry lab and the other professors are not doing CPR at all. So this professor says that some of his students are coming to him with complaints about this technique.


1) How come I have to do these while my roommate does not since he is not in Dr. Concerned's section?

Are your students, or the others' complaining about having to do something that someone else does not have to do? Are both sets of students complaining? The response for both sets of students is they are spending their time on the course on different activities. The total workload is similar (unless the reports are just copied and there is no learning occurring.)

2) I can't bring myself to evaluate my fellow student's work. I just cannot give a grade for them or for that matter to self-evaluate my own work.

Evaluation is a higher-order thinking skill. That is what we are teaching you in CPR. You are expected to be able to think like this when you graduate; we have a responsibility to teach you that skill while you are an undergraduate. CPR does this. The grade you give your peer, has a lot more effect on your own grade than it does on your peer.

{We recommend that a score for a CPR assignment have the "text" grade as 20% and the self-evaluation as 20% - these are now the default settings. This means that 80% of the grade on the assignment is based on learning to evaluate the specific topic.}

Everyone would like to give themselves a "10" but the purpose here is to look critically at the essay you wrote and decide if it "correct" now that you have learned how and practiced reviewing this topic. If you know it isn't right - say so, so will your peers and you will receive the credit for now understanding the material of the topic even if you did not when you wrote your original essay.

3) I think that the professor should have to grade all of our labs after all it is his job and I will be happy to provide a writeup for each experiment rather than do the CPR assignments.

If you wish to also write a report for each of your labs as well as the CPR assignment, I will be happy to evaluate it and give you feedback on your errors. The grades for the high-level thinking skills for the course are associated with the CPR assignments. As the instructor I still have complete control and authority over all the grades in the course. I can and will read and review a substantial number of the assignments and review comments that the class does. if I feel there was an error I can and will override the peer review that was done.

The fact is the literature documents that students who are trained to review a topic, do an excellent job of peer review. The grades they assign are very closely aligned with the grades the teachers give. Freshmen have been shown to be able to do this just as well as seniors.

The professor who is talking to me about this indicates that since we have a fair number of freshman in our lab sections it is difficult to start a CPR assignment in their first year as they are not used to doing this from their high school days and they only want to say positive things about fellow students work and not anything in a critical manner.

The content and the quality of the essay are what are being reviewed, not the student as an individual. You can suggest that students comment on both the good qualities and the errors in the essays they review. Evaluation does not have to be just negative comments.

He also thinks it may not be fair to have them responsible for material that I have not graded before a quiz is done over those experiments since I am not grading some of the experiments this fall but using the CPR instead. He thinks this may be too radical an approach for chem lab.

What you need to do is have your student buy into this that it is a fair assessment of their learning. I have found that when the students know that you are in control still, and that you are behind them learning to a high level, that they are supportive. (Be careful, one squeaky wheel can often dominate.) I always let my students know that I have reviewed the work and that they can always send me e-mail if they think that they want my opinion on their work also. If anything, I think they see me as more approachable than when I just lecture.

He thinks I may be setting myself up for a huge level of criticism this fall when it comes time to do the student evaluations.

If you have close contact with your students throughout the assignment, I have found this aspect of the course is not criticized.


Arlene A. Russell
Senior Lecturer
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1569

I would be happy to receive anything you want to tell me on these subjects as well as my questions about grading. I was feeling pretty good about doing these this term, but the professor's comments have somewhat depressed me. You can also ask Tim Su and Krista Motschiedler to respond if they wish too. Any comments would be helpful for me. Thanks!

Dr. Concerned

The Instructor has continued to use CPR, and has even authored assignments! =)


TIPS for CPR Administrators

(coming soon)