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Wednesday, March 3 • 12:00pm - 12:15pm
Talk Session 5: ComPAIR: a flexible, open source, teaching technology for facilitating peer learning through comparisons

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We will talk about using comparisons to facilitate learning using ComPAIR [1], open source, peer feedback and teaching technology developed at the University of British Columbia. ComPAIR is currently being used in over 60 courses across all disciplines and faculties at the University of British Columbia and at six institutions outside of the University of British Columbia. ComPAIR makes use of students’ inherent ability and desire to compare: according to the psychological principle of comparative judgement [2], novices are much better at choosing the “better” of two answers than they are at giving those answers an absolute score. By scaffolding peer feedback through comparisons, ComPAIR provides an engaging, simple, and safe environment that supports two distinct outcomes: (a) students learn how to assess their own work and that of others in a way that (b) facilitates the learning of subtle aspects of course content through the act of comparing.

In this session I’ll discuss why comparisons facilitate learning [3], and I’ll do a demonstration of what students see when they use ComPAIR. I’ll also give a specific example of using ComPAIR in a third-year course on the Physics of Climate and Energy where we do four-week-long “ big picture questions” that have students tackle vaguely defined problems as a class but submit papers individually to ComPAIR.

To explore ComPAIR check out our sandbox site: https://compairdemo.ctlt.ubc.ca. Details on how to set up ComPAIR at your own institution can be found here: https://lthub.ubc.ca/guides/compair.

[1] Potter, Tiffany et al. (2017, September). ComPAIR: A new online tool using adaptive comparative judgement to support learning with peer feedback. Teaching and Learning Inquiry, [S.l.], 5(2), 89–113.
[2] Thurstone, L. L. (1927). A law of comparative judgement. Psychological Review, 34, 273–286.
[3] Bransford, J., & Schwartz, D. (1999). Rethinking transfer: a simple proposal with multiple implications. Review of Research in Education, 24, 61–100.

avatar for James Charbonneau

James Charbonneau

Assistant Professor of Teaching, University of British Columbia
I'm an Instructor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UBC and the Associate Director the Science Gateway Programs, which includes Science One and the Coordinated Science Program. I spend most of my time either teaching or thinking about teaching.

Wednesday March 3, 2021 12:00pm - 12:15pm CST