Pilots of new technologies for teaching and learning

Last updated: November 3, 2022
Audience: Instructors


UW-IT’s Academic Experience Design & Delivery unit provides ad hoc evaluation and assessment of digital learning tools that are designed to meet campus needs. Instructors, students, and staff are important partners in this work; feedback from users is critical to our decision-making process and helps us to inform vendors about where their products do or do not yet meet expectations. Whether or not we recommend a technology for adoption and central support depends in part on:

  • The breadth of the potential audience for the tool
  • How well the technology meets user needs
  • How easy it is to use and support
  • How well it meets UW’s accessibility standards
  • The cost of adoption

Each year, AXDD chooses a limited number of technologies to pilot test and evaluate. While requirements for participation may vary, all pilot participants are asked to provide feedback on their experience, typically through focus groups or short surveys distributed by UW-IT.

Participant eligibility

We encourage interested faculty and staff to test our selected technologies and provide feedback. Because pilot agreements with vendors often mean we are limited in the number of users we can enroll, we seek participants who can make a firm commitment to:

  • Participate in or watch a short “getting started” webinar about the tool
  • Explore and test multiple features of the tool
  • Provide feedback at the end of the quarter
  • Invite and make time for students to provide feedback

Our goal is to create a vibrant community of early adopters who inspire one another with their teaching experiments (we enthusiastically welcome participants who want to share examples of how they used the tool in their course) and, where needed, inform the development of new features. We share what we learn from pilot participants with the vendor so that the technology can be improved and better meet user needs.

Technology pilots for 2022-23

Peer Review & Group Member Evaluation

During autumn, winter, and spring of 2022-23, we will be pilot testing two tools from the Feedback Fruits suite of tools: Peer Review and Group Member Evaluation. Both tools are fully integrated with Canvas.

Peer Review

Allows students to review one or more artifacts submitted by classmates. Artifacts can include a wide range of file types, including documents, websites, audio and video.

Tool features include:

  • Individual and group feedback – individuals or groups can be assigned to review the work of any individual, of individuals within or outside of a group, or the work of a group.
  • Customizable criteria or rubrics – instructors can structure and customize evaluation criteria to include comments, (Likert) scales, rubrics, or a combination of options.
  • Configurable grading – instructors can configure which components of an assignment are to be graded and how much they should contribute to the final grade
  • Hold feedback – students can see received feedback instantly or after specified deadlines to avoid bias
  • Anonymity option – students can review work openly or using a tool-generated pseudonym
  • Self-assessment option – students can be invited to apply the criteria to their own work before reviewing others

Group Member Evaluation

Allows students to evaluate the performance and contributions of fellow group members, or of any individuals or groups. Tool features are the same or similar to those for Peer Review.

Want to participate?

If you are interested in pilot testing either of these tools during autumn, winter, or spring quarters, please visit our support page to register for the pilot and learn more about using the tools in your courses.