Transferring Skills from Classroom to Professional Writing: Student-Faculty Peer Review as an Extension of Cognitive Apprenticeship

Kristin Marie Klucevsek


In discipline-specific writing courses, students develop professional skills in reading, writing, and peer review. However, students have limited opportunities to peer review professional writing outside a writing classroom or with faculty, especially if they do not perform research.  Therefore, it is unclear how students apply classroom-acquired peer review skills to a professional setting. This study examined the transfer of peer review skills learned in a science writing course to an authentic setting in which undergraduate students peer reviewed for the instructor after completing the course. In this case study, eight students volunteered to give feedback to the instructor on a draft of a literature review intended for journal submission. Student feedback was qualitatively evaluated for types and themes. Additionally, students provided their perspectives on this process through pre- and post-questionnaires, where they indicated a struggle with confidence and content while reading and reviewing. This study supports student-faculty peer review as an authentic tool for situated learning.  The benefits to students include increased confidence in reading, writing, and peer reviewing literature, an opportunity to practice classroom skills, and a chance to collaborate with professionals during the writing process. I conclude with additional suggestions to increase student-faculty collaboration and cognitive apprenticeship through peer review as a tool in any discipline.  


peer review; cognitive apprenticeship; science writing; writing across disciplines; writing across the curriculum; situated learning

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ISSN 1527-9316