1000 Things We Hate #104: Peer Reviews

27 09 2010

"Did you tell Meredith her work was 'shit', Bryan?"

In Peer Evaluations/Reviews, there are only two possible outcomes (okay, there’s a third, but for my purposes it is ignored): 1) Little to no feedback 2) the person rips your work apart for no good reason.

Either way, you’re basically screwed.  You’ve put your heart and soul into your work only to be returned with a “this is good/good job/I liked it” or “I feel like your thesis should have been clearer/I honestly just don’t see how the point you’re making is relevant/I feel like feeding this paper to seagulls where it will better serve the world”.  I mean, seriously people, what the fuck?

Grumble-Grumble-Grumble

Now, the theory of a peer review makes sense.  I really like to hear feedback about my work.  However, I’ve discovered the best way to do this is with someone who knows what the fuck you’re talking about and is capable of giving a valid opinion on what you can do to improve as well as spotting the strong parts in your argument.

THESE ARE RARE.

Now, I have come across a few of these people who are blessed with helping others, but they do not rear their heads often.  Plus, in a classroom setting, there is never an ample amount of time to sufficiently peer review someone’s work to the amount of depth that makes it worthwhile.

Not as tranquil as it seems

That brings me to my next point: peer evals just don’t seem to be worth the trouble to spend time on in class.  There’s little reward at a big risk.  In that sense, they seem to be a cop out for the teacher/professor to take a break for the day.

In the end, peer evals suck ass and are pretty ineffective.


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