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Instructions and Assigned Partners for Peer Commentary Assignments



The Peer Commentary assignment is one of the most important exercises in this class. It’s a chance for you to work with your classmates to learn different perspectives on approaching and coding statistics while also engaging in respectful feedback about the ways in which your peers code, comment their code, and work through coding and statistical problems.

(Please… no Bianca Del Rio-level shade in this class; we’ll all be making mistakes this semester).


How it works…

Every week, once finished working on your Original Homework Code associated with your assigned Module (links to Homework can be found in the weekly entries on the Course Outline), you will be required to share your annoted/commented code as an R Markdown file with your weekly assigned Peer Group. At the end of your Original Homework Code, in a section labeled CHALLENGES, you will share a list of the three most difficult challenges you faced in writing your code, and what you did to overcome them. The Peer Group you share this code with will typically be a group of three, although depending on final class size it may be a group of two, and this group will change on a weekly basis (see below for your assigned groups). You must push your commented/annotated Original Homework Code to your homework repository, which you must share with your Peer Group and instructor, by 8:00 pm on Monday night. It is up to your group whether one or both of the other members work together to respectfully critique the others’ code, and groups are encouraged to meet over the weekend to discuss their code in person.

Things to keep in mind

How should we be critiquing each others’ code? There are better and worse practices for doing so. In keeping with best practices, please keep in mind the following concerns:

Before every peer commentary, please read the Codementor guide on How to Effectively and Politely Critique Code. We will discuss this in class, but please also consider reviewing the Bosu et al. paper on effective coding feedback and, above all, be mindful in how you review your Peers’ code.

How you share your code

You will be creating a new repo on GitHub, and cloning that repo to your computer so that you can make a git-referenced Rstudio project, for each individual homework assignment (instructions for each assignment on what to name that repo will be on the specific Homework webpage). Your homework code should be entered (and commented/annotated!) in an R Markdown file created and saved in your homework project, which can then be shared by ‘pushing’ it to GitHub.

You must then invite your Peer Group (and me, your instructor) to ‘Collaborate’ on that repo. Instructions for how to invite us to collaborate are here. This will generate an email invitation (sent to the email address registered to their GitHub account), which your collaborators will have to Accept.

Please keep an eye out for, and Accept, your Peer Group’s invitations each week!

Once you’re an active collaborator, you can clone your Peer’s repository to your computer, create a git-referenced Project from that repo in Rstudio, and then write and push a new R Markdown file with your comments/changes/recommendations on how to improve their code directly to their homework repo.

What you’re critiquing…

As noted in the homework instructions, while completing your homework each of you will compile a list of the five most impactful challenges faced while coding it, along with how you overcame them (or what you attempted if you couldn’t overcome them). You, as a peer commenter, must spend at least an hour reviewing and testing your peer’s code with an eye towards understanding the challenges they faced, and in the process write down the following:
    1. What you learned from running their Original Homework Code that helped improve your own code.
    2. What you did in your own code that might help to improve theirs.
    3. What challenges, if any, you both faced in your code that could not be helped by comparison.
    4. Whether the annotation/commenting on your peer’s Original Homework Code is readable and interpretable to you, and if not then how it could be improved.

Although not required, you are encouraged to meet outside class so that you may work together on this process.

Ideally, as peer commenter you will give your comments back to your peer with enough time for them to take into account your comments and turn in an improved (and hopefully functional) Final Homework Code.

Students must have their Original Homework Code (with Challenges noted), Peer Commentaries, and Final Homework Code in their Homework repo by 5:00 pm on Sunday

In class, for 10 minutes, you will be given a chance to meet with your Peer Group in order to prioritize questions or challenges that your group would like to bring to the attention of the whole class.

We will then take 30 minutes of each class to address these challenges together, and see if other Peer Groups faced similar challanges or found unique solutions to each problem, and together will do our best to solve them.

Although grades will not be assigned for Peer Commentaries, if it comes to my attention that particular students are not actively participating in this process, it will be considered when negotiating their argument for their final grade.

Who you’re working with…

The students currently enrolled in Fall 2021 (and their associated GitHub accounts) include:

And mine and Mel’s GitHub accounts are:

Assigned Peer Groups

Week 01 (2019-09-03)


No Peer Commentary due.


Homework 01: Push It! (Assigned 10SEP, Due 16SEP)


Peer Group 1: Abigail Robinson, Marta Hammers, Victoria French

Peer Group 2: Miguel Rubio Garcia, Diego Alonso Larre, Zoe Albert

Peer Group 3: Kenny Cho, Natalia Kelley, Isabel Novick, Jordan Cox

Peer Group 4: Victoria Zdanowicz, Nirmiti Naik, Nicholas Beebe

Peer Group 5: Max Dippel, Elizabeth Varghese, Cecelia Gerstenbacher

Peer Group 6: Gabriel Vincencio Castellanos, Francis Short, Warrenkevin Henderson


Homework 02: Titis in the Mist (Assigned 17SEP, Due 30SEP)


Peer Group 1: Francis Short, Victoria Zdanowicz, Nirmiti Naik, Jordan Cox

Peer Group 2: Warrenkevin Henderson, Isabel Novick, Gabriel Vincencio Castellanos

Peer Group 3: Victoria French, Natalia Kelley, Abigail Robinson

Peer Group 4: Cecelia Gerstenbacher, Kenny Cho, Max Dippel

Peer Group 5: Elizabeth Varghese, Miguel Rubio Garcia, Diego Alonso Larre

Peer Group 6: Nicholas Beebe, Marta Hammers, Zoe Albert


Homework 03: Some of My Best Friends are Zombies (Assigned 01OCT, Due 14OCT)


Peer Group 1: Abigail Robinson, Natalia Kelley, Miguel Rubio Garcia

Peer Group 2: Diego Alonso Larre, Max Dippel, Isabel Novick

Peer Group 3: Nirmiti Naik, Elizabeth Varghese, Warrenkevin Henderson

Peer Group 4: Cecelia Gerstenbacher, Gabriel Vincencio Castellanos

Peer Group 5: Zoe Albert, Marta Hammers, Victoria French

Peer Group 6: Francis Short, Victoria Zdanowicz


Homework 04: What’s Your Malfunction? (Assigned 15OCT, Due 28OCT)


Peer Group 1: Elizabeth Varghese, Natalia Kelley

Peer Group 2: Nirmiti Naik, Isabel Novick, Francis Short

Peer Group 3: Diego Alonso Larre, Zoe Albert, Gabriel Vincencio Castellanos

Peer Group 4: Warrenkevin Henderson, Abigail Robinson

Peer Group 5: Victoria French, Miguel Rubio Garcia, Cecelia Gerstenbacher

Peer Group 6: Max Dippel, Marta Hammers, Victoria Zdanowicz


Homework 05: Boots for Days! (Assigned 05NOV, Due 11NOV)


Peer Group 1: Diego Alonso Larre, Max Dippel, Isabel Novick

Peer Group 2: Zoe Albert, Warrenkevin Henderson

Peer Group 3: Elizabeth Varghese, Miguel Rubio Garcia, Gabriel Vincencio Castellanos

Peer Group 4: Abigail Robinson, Nirmiti Naik, Cecelia Gerstenbacher

Peer Group 5: Francis Short, Victoria Zdanowicz, Natalia Kelley

Peer Group 6: Victoria French, Marta Hammers