The PRESTO Project relay: Open, Asynchronous Learning in Virtual Peer Groups

Pieter Bots
Delft University of Technology

Els van Daalen
Delft University of Technology

Sofia Dopper
Delft University of Technology


Academic education entails that students engage in open-ended assignments. Global education entails that students interact in projects with peers world-wide. The logistic challenge of offering academic project work to a large, heterogeneous student body, while keeping instructor workload manageable, is daunting. Project relays on the PRESTO software platform meet this challenge. In a project relay, students work in a virtual peer group on assignments that are organized in successive steps, where each step is peer reviewed. Unlike a regular peer review, the reviewing students revise the work they have reviewed. They then add the next step to it, and pass the improved-and-extended work on to another student. The PRESTO software fully automates the relay workflow, facilitates defining, monitoring, and grading projects, and has been adapted for use in LTI-compliant MOOCs. Since 2013, over 20 project relays have run in several courses at Delft University of Technology. Evaluations show that a project relay realizes the intended learning outcomes, but can at times be stressful for students. This prompts ideas for further pedagogical and technical improve¬ments.

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