Information for students

Taking part in a peer review activity on Aropä involves these steps:
  • Submit the essay (or report, or computer program, etc.) you wrote for the coursework assignment
  • Read a selection of essays (or reports, etc.) written by other students. These are (usually) allocated randomly by the system, so you probably won't know (and should't care!) who the other student is. They won't know who you are, either.
  • Fill in a review form with your comments and (possibly) some marks for each essay (or report, etc.) that you read.
  • Once the reviewing deadline has passed, have a look at the comments other students have written about your own work. You will also be able to read reviews written by other students on the same essays (or reports, etc.) you reviewed.

Who do I contact if I have questions about peer-review or problems with Aropä?

Each Aropä class has an instructor (typically the person in charge of the teaching at your institution) who can answer questions about the peer-review activity.

In most cases, instructors will provide an 'access code' which you should use as your password the first time you login. Once you have done this, you will need to create your own Aropa password. If you forget your password, you should ask your instructor to reset it.

How do I submit my documents?

Your instuctor will have specified the format in which you should submit your work; it may be a Word file, a PowerPoint file, or several pdfs - the system will tell you what is expected when you login. In most cases, you will want your documents to be anonymous, so that your fellow students will not know who created them. Things to avoid include putting your name or student number at the top of your document (or, indeed, anywhere else in your submission), and using file names that include your name or student id (eg. 1108288-Essay1.doc, or HelenPurchaseEssay.pdf) - unless, of course, your instructor specifically asks you to do these things.

How do I write a review?

You may never have written a review of a fellow student's work before - don't worry: your instructor will have prepared a review form for you to fill in when you write your reviews. A link to this will appear after you download the allocated essay (or report, etc.). The form will tell you which specific or general areas to comment on, and may also include some radio buttons you can click on.

The system is hosted at Glasgow - do I need to adjust for difference in time zone?

No. When you login, you choose the institution that you belong to - and all activity within that institution is adjusted for local time. So, if Aropä says that your submission is due at 11pm, then that means 11pm according to your own watch.

Why do I need to do this?

Peer review is good for you in several ways. First, you get to read a selection of material written by other students studying in the same class. There will usually be some who are better and some who are worse than you. Reading their work will tell give you an idea about how you compare, and whether you need to put more work into the course.

While reviewing, you'll come across a range of approaches to the assignment. Some better, some worse, and some just different. You may learn new ways of approaching the topic, and notice problems and misunderstandings to avoid!

Going through the process of marking helps you to understand better what your lecturer expects of you in the assignment. You will start to earn better marks as you get a better idea of what is wanted in the assessment.

Peer reviewing trains you to make judgements on someone else's work. Is it good, or bad? Are there mistakes? How could it be improved? With practice, you will soon start to think about mistakes you make with your own work, and how to recognise and correct them. This is a key skill, one that will stay with you throughout your life.

What does Aropä mean?

Aropä is a Maori word, meaning: "accost in a friendly way", "clump of one species of tree", or "cohort, peer group, peer, peer review."