Eli Review Learning Resources

Endorsing Student Feedback

In Eli Review, instructors can make endorsements that provide a thumbs-up on helpful comments. Instructors receive a report after every individual review that aggregates reviewer responses and comments. Each comment has a thumbs-up icon and clicking it adds an instructor endorsement to that comment:


While instructors use endorsements for different goals, the endorsement sends a message in two directions:

  1. To the recipient of the comment (the writer), an endorsement indicates

    “This comment says something important; make sure to address it in your revision plan and/or follow the suggestion in the next version.”

  2. To the reviewer who wrote the comment, an endorsement indicates,

    “This is a great comment; keep up the good work!”

This brief tutorial addresses why instructors might consider endorsing student feedback, strategies for endorsing comments, and summarizes analytics around endorsement.

Theories behind endorsement

Instructors actively facilitate peer learning through task design and the social interactions they sponsor around those tasks. The Community of Inquiry framework theory developed by Cleveland-Innes, Garrison & Vaughan describe this work as establishing a “teaching presence.” The instructor’s presence in peer review, however, is often “ambivalent” (Bedore and O’Sullivan, 2001) because instructors want to give students more authority over their learning despite the fact that instructors retain power such as grading authority. Recognizing the imbalance between peers’ (novice) comments and their own (expert) comments, instructors must make important decisions about how to be present in peer learning.

Endorsements are part of an instructor’s teaching presence in Eli Review. They allow instructors to signal their approval of peer comments and leave a trace of that approval in system for all to see. This visibility helps:

Screenshot of what students see when their comments are endorsed

Endorsements function like digital badges that help improve

Endorsements also say “job well done!” to an individual reviewer, recognizing her feedback as helpful or important.

Strategies for endorsing comments

There is no single “correct” endorsement strategy. The endorsement strategy that works is the one instructors explain to students as part of daily teaching practice—as Marianne Stenger explains in the 4th strategy for research-based meaningful feedback.  In an online space, teaching presence matters, but what the thumbs up means to students depends on how you describe its value to them in discussion, particularly while modeling the most helpful comments.

We work with instructors who have disparate perspectives:

By being stingy, I was trying to keep them listening to one another and not using me as a filter to tune out unendorsed comments.

Again, the strategy that works is the one instructors explain. An instructor’s presence in student peer comments is not self-explanatory. To benefit from your thumbs-up, students need know why you are/are not endorsing their comments.

Endorsement Analytics in Eli Review

Eli Review analytics around endorsed comments provide formative feedback for instructors about one aspect of their teaching presence and can inform mid-term/end-of-course evaluations of students’ engagement with peer learning.

Checking Your Own Work

The learning analytics for endorsements help you hold yourself accountable to the strategy for endorsement you’ve selected.  Eli’s reports can reveal the percent of endorsed comments for the class, for all reviews, for each review, and per student.

For example, if you are aiming to endorse rarely, but Eli reveals that you are endorsing 25% of the comments, you might want to reassess your goals; either change what you are telling students or change your endorsing behavior.

From the course-level analytics report, there are three ways to check whether your percentage of endorsed comments matches your chosen strategy:

  1. The Engagement Highlights report shows the quantity of endorsed comments each student received as a writer and gave a reviewer. The class average is a useful metric for gauging your presence in students’ comment digests.
  2. The Engagement by Task Type shows the average percent of endorsed comments per review.
  3. The Average Student Profile average the percent of endorsed comments per review and the percent of endorse comments that appear in revision plans.

Again, there’s no magic percentage of endorsed comments. Instead, the aim is for a teacher to be present in ways that are consistent with student expectations.

Checking Students’ Work

Eli also produces student-level analytics that can help instructors assess students’ work as reviewers and writers. You can access the report for individual students from the course roster or by clicking on any student’s name in Course Analytics reports.


The student analytics about endorsement reveal the following:

Digging Deeper

This tutorial covers how endorsements might fit into a writing pedagogy. Related resources include:

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