Reflections on Using Collaborative Asynchronous Digital Tools for Peer Review in Traditional and Online Undergraduate Courses

Concurrent Session 7

Brief Abstract

This interactive session will use Mentimeter to lead a discussion on how we can improve upon student-student interaction in face-to-face and online courses by using the Voicethread tool. Specifically, the presenter will share the do’s and do not’s when including the tool within pre-service teacher courses.


Dr. Kelly S. Rippard is a researcher of English and pre-service teacher education, instructional design, curriculum development, problem-based instructional models, technology education, and blended learning. After having a successful career as a secondary and postsecondary English educator as well as an instructional designer and curriculum specialist, Dr. Rippard is currently a lecturer in the department of teaching and learning at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. Here she teaches future teachers about educational methods and technology in both traditional and online classrooms.

Extended Abstract

This session’s topic focuses on ways to effectively facilitate student-student interaction within online and face-to-face classes for undergraduate pre-service teachers. One of the ways student-student interaction is facilitated within these classes is through peer review of writing assignments, such as lesson plan drafts (see Buchanan & Stern, 2012 and Seroussi, Sharon, Peled, & Yaffe, 2019). Digital tools, such as Voicethread, offer an asynchronous environment to facilitate this type of interaction and may also help improve the quality of the peer review process. This is especially important to anyone designing and teaching courses where peer review is a major part of the learning process. Likewise, research has suggested that asynchronous, digital tools such as Voicethread, can transform all types of learning environments (see Brunvand & Byrd, 2011; Ching & Hsu, 2013; Delmas, 2017; Fox, 2017; Kirby & Hulan, 2016; Mejia, 2020), but research on specific instructional methods for using the tool are rare. 

This session will use Mentimeter to engage the audience. As audience members stop by the presenter’s area, they will complete a wordcloud-based survey asking participants to share how they typically facilitate peer review in their classes. After participants share their experiences, the presentation will begin and the presenter will share the setting and context of the research in progress study using VoiceThread for peer review, including the key points of when and how Voicethread was used. The presenter will show real life samples of the peer reviews completed by her students. Lastly, audience members can take a copy of the “do’s and do not’s” handout highlighting the presenter’s findings so far. The session will end with audience members scanning a QR code and offering any suggestions or ideas they have to add to the research.

There will be four main takeaways from this presentation. First, attendees will learn some advanced features of Voicethread outside of using it as a lecture/presentation tool. Second, attendees will be able to see how active learning can occur using asynchronous digital tools. Third, attendees will gain ideas for facilitating peer review methods that could work in both the face-to-face and online learning environments called the “do’s and do not’s” handout.. Lastly, attendees will also be able to collaborate with the researcher and try the strategies in their class and add to the research study, if interested.