Calibrated Peer Review (CPR)


Resource for Calibrated Peer Review

*This resource is now being handled entirely by UCLA. Please contact them for more information >>


CPR Administrator Waleed Nasr, 310-434 4398
Academic Computing, Faculty & Staff Technology Resources Lab
Media Center 114 (Map #42)

About Calibrated Peer Review

Calibrated Peer Review (CPR)™ is a free Web-based program that enables frequent writing assignments even in large classes with limited instructional resources. Writing assignments are graded by the students using a structured program. Instructors can choose among 170 published writing assignments, which they can modify or they can create their own. It is in use by more than 500 schools throughout the world in almost every academic field involving over 70,000 students in over 3000 courses. It is now available for all instructors at SMC and has been used successfully by several instructors here at SMC involving over 200 students.

CPR operates with little or no instructor supervision. Students are required to write an essay on a given topic, then read and rate (calibrate) three provided essays on the same topic, which establishes their critical reading skill level, and then rate three of their classmates’ essays as well as their own. Point credit is given for each portion of the assignment: the student essay, ability to calibrate known essays, their assessment of peer's essays and assessment of their own essay. Point totals are statistically calculated by the CPR program on a UCLA server. Instructors can view all portions of each student's performance, which provides for direct comment and grading as well as redress of grievances. Typical assignments here are completed in about three weeks.

CPR Impact on Learning

Studies at three different universities in chemistry, biology, and economics document that students taught using CPR assignments perform approximately 10% better on traditional course exams than students taught with traditional methods (Chapman, 2000; Russell, 2001; Pelaez, 2002). CPR also enjoys a high student approval rating. CPR enables students to do more writing assignments with attendant benefits of writing to learn. In addition, the process of peer review and evaluation teaches higher-order, critical thinking skills, acquaints students with their peers’ work and gives a sense of group responsibility and participation.

Getting Started

  1. Become a CPR instructor. You must have a CPR account created for you. This will allow you to manage, edit, and create your courses.
  • Notify by phone or email the CPR Administrator:
    Waleed Nasr, Faculty & Staff Technology Resources Lab. Email:
  • Enroll your class in CPR. Again notify the CPR administrator as above and provide him with the class section number and class roster.
  • Give your class an assignment! You will be asked to set a date and time for the essay and reviews, assign point distribution, and set a difficulty level.
  • Notify your class of the assignment and keep them informed as to the deadlines. Provide them with the SMC Student CPR manual and login instructions (appendix 1).