Peer Review in Library School – helpful or headache?
04/03/2011 § 35 Comments
Disclaimer: I am discussing the very last class, also last required, of my MLIS degree. I may speak with a tad of “senioritis.”
One of the required courses in my MLIS program is Evaluation of Information Services. I have been kind of dreading this course because I knew it would be very theory heavy and I’m kind of a more practical person when it comes to my learning style [I think we will be discussing more of theory vs practice very soon on this blog]. However, I understand that grad school should and is about challenging yourself. And, well, a requirement is a requirement.
Then the game changed a bit. On the first day of class the professor said that every assignment, four in total, would be due a week ahead of the posted due date. What? The earlier due date would allow for peer review. Each student would be responsible for reviewing at least two other classmates’ work. Then you would have a few days to revise your assignment, taking into consideration the peer review if you felt you wanted to.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about this. My immediate and selfish thought was that it would generate much more work for me. And what if I didn’t appreciate what was said? What if people were not constructive but were more negative for negative sake? Because of my curiosity I posted this question via Twitter:
And as I usually do when asking my fellow classmates on Twitter these kinds of questions, I got some really interesting responses. Responses varied from those who thought more editing needed to be integrated into library school to whether it may be stifling or too much “busy work” for one semester.
Now I pose it to all of you. Is peer review a part of your courses? Should it be? As a profession where perhaps it would be positive if more people conducted research is this the kind of process that could be conducive to that? Do you want to get feedback from your classmates or just from your professors?