ComPAIR is a flexible learning application that may be used in a variety of ways across disciplines to encourage richer peer feedback and deeper critical thinking. At a basic level, the ComPAIR workflow is quite simple.
On the administrative side, instructors set up five structural elements for each assignment, a process that can be completed in under ten minutes.
When registered students log in, they can see all active assignments created for a course, and select the assignment they wish to complete. To answer the assignment, students can use rich text, a file attachment (PDF, MP3, MP4, JPG, or PNG), or both.
Instructors and teaching assistants may also submit answers for assignments, though these are not entered into the answer pool for comparison and instead appear at the top of the list of answers for students to review at the end of the assignment.
After answering, students read and compare pairs of peer answers. Each pair is considered a "round". A round starts with students selecting a preferred answer from the pair for each instructor-set criterion. Then students are asked to give feedback to the authors of the answers, using instructions that can also be customized by the instructor.
For each round, students submit their criteria selections and feedback in a single form. After submitting, they are automatically directed to the next pair of answers, though they may leave and return to the work at a later time. If instructors enable self-evaluation, students receive a prompt that asks them to reflect and comment on their own answer at the end of the process.
Once the assignment completes, students may access the peer feedback given to their own answer, as well as the complete list of answers submitted by their peers. Depending on how instructors set up the assignment, students may also see answers ranked most highly by their peers and/or answers marked as "top" answers by instructors and teaching assistants.
Instructors and teaching assistants always see the full student-ranked list of answers along with scores/percentages revealing more closely how students ranked each answer. During and after an assignment, instructors and teaching assistants can read and comment (privately or publicly) on student answers, access a participation table to view activity and grades, mark "top" answers, and view the feedback and comparisons each student submitted for the presented answer pairs.