PEAR - A Peer Evaluation, Assessment and Review Tool

PEAR (Peer Evaluation, Assessment and Review) is an online peer review application, developed by Teaching Support Services (TSS) at the University of Guelph, which helps instructors facilitate the peer review process.

In an academic setting, the peer review process is employed to maintain standards, improve performance and provide credibility. It emphasizes writing as a process of editing and revisions, while the presence of an audience motivates authors to produce a higher calibre of work. Through this process, authors learn to be analytical and critical as they get the opportunity to see the calibre of writing from others at their academic level. This comparative process influences authors to re-evaluate and improve their own work.

Why Use PEAR

The benefits of the peer review process are often overlooked due to the time, organization, resources and staff needed to make the process a smooth and successful one. This is especially true for larger class sizes. This is where PEAR comes into play. With the use of PEAR, much of the administration of a peer review project is actually facilitated and automated by the system, including:

  • optional and flexible project stages
  • predefined submission start, due, late and release dates
  • accepting and tracking of submissions of multiple documents and formats throughout the stages of the project
  • assignment and distribution of submissions to peer-reviewers (anonymously if desired) and/or instructors
  • email confirmation and notifications throughout the process
  • user created grading forms which can be reused and shared between projects and their stages
  • allowing for group and self assessment
  • grade calculation and export

The PEAR Process

PEAR offers instructors full control over their projects through the customizable PEAR Project Stages. Each stage can be enabled/disabled based on project needs and include:

  • first submission
    • first submission reviewed by students/instructor
      • reviews evaluated by submitter/instructor
  • final submission
    • final submission reviewed by instructor
  • group assessment


Web application Accessible from anywhere via internet, with no software to install
Project customization Create peer review projects specifically tailored to instructor needs
D2L Integration Allows instructors the ability to import class, group, role and user information from D2L
Grade calculation and export Frees instructors of the task of calculating and distributing grades
Online tutorials Assists instructors/students in all stages of the PEAR process
Automated e-mails Provides confirmations and notifications throughout entire PEAR process
File access control Offers instructors complete authority over file access privileges