Annex: initial invite email

18 06 2015
Title: London Permaculture Diploma Peer Review Guild
Date: 04/12/2012
To: as many London Diploma folk as email’s I had
Hi London diploma people,

A few of us were at the National Diploma gathering at the weekend in Birmingham which was fun and inspring!  There was a talk from Richard Perkins (a diploma tutor) about his more supported approach to working with his diploma apprentices.  Those of us who attended the talk thought some elements of what they are doing might be really useful things that we could do in London toprovide ourselves with more support on our diploma journeys.

So we propose a trial peer review guild to test out some of the ideas and see if they could work.  This is different to the action learning guilds that some of us have been involved in (using the 4 questions) in that there is more commitment from those in the group and those in the group provide eachother with more support.

If you want to be part of this trial peer review guild then please let me know.  If the timing outlined below doesn’t work for you now but you would like to be involved in the future (assuming a successful trial) then also get in touch and I will include you on future emails!  If you just want to join the action learning guild in January and not be part of the the peer review guild that’s also fine!

Diploma Peer Review Guild: Trial

A group of us attended Richard Perkins talk about a more supported tutor/apprentice approach to doing your diploma.  He is working with a group of 8 apprentices; they produce one design every 10 weeks and then have a 2 week period to do a peer review of one design of one of the other 8.  There were some of his apprentices at the talk.  For me there were three key things that came out of the work this group have been doing:

  1. Agreed and shared deadlines to produce a project design report by.
  2. Peer review of your project report
  3. A commitment to the group that each person will produce a project design for their portfolio by the agreed shared deadline

Reasons why I think this is important:

  1. It will make me accountable to you my peer review guild to complete a design by a certain date – it will make me get on with my diploma.  I have not been very good at sticking to my own self imposed deadlines so far so I really think this will help me.
  2. I will learn a lot more about your project and how you design by reviewing what you have done than I will ever learn just from hearing the 4 questions in the action learning guild.
  3. I will get your feedback about my project/design and so will be able to tweak it before I submit it to my tutor so I will be more confident in what I have done
  4. We will learn together about how we apply the critieria and will be better designers because of the cycle of feedback.

How the trial will work:

  1. 4 Dec 2012: begin a new design project or begin to write up a project that you have been working on.
  2. Action Learning Guild meeting in first week of Jan, 7, 9 or 10 Jan at the Southbank Centre.
  3. Complete a project report for your design by 31 Jan 2013. This might be one you have already completed, or it might be a new one that you are starting now – you choose.
  4. 1 Feb – 14 Feb is peer review period.  During this time you will spend approx 2 hours reviewing one project report from one other person in the guild and fill in the template for peer review feedback used by Richard’s group (template attached).  If your work is digital then you just need to make it available to your reviewer (email/website) if its offline you will co-ordinate with your reviewer how to get your information to them.
  5. 3rd week in Feb – peer review guild meeting at the Southbank Centre.  We’ll meet up and discuss how the process went, whether we think it is useful – if we think it’s worth doing we will design a programme for the rest of the year to do a number of design/peer review cycles (to be agreed once we have done the process once).  The idea is that you don’t review the same persons work each time and you have someone different looking at yours each time too – more diversity for learning and feedback.

What to do if you are interested?

  1. Start working up your designs
  2. Tell me that you want to be part of the process – I will then draw up a matrix of peer reviews so that we each have one review to do and we know who’s work we are going to review.
  3. Come along to the action learning guild in early Jan if you want to.  Tell me which dates work best for you
  4. Complete your design by 31 Jan 2013
  5. Make your work available to your reviewer
  6. Allow a couple of hours during the review period to do a review for someone else.
  7. Come along to the peer review guild meeting in feb and review the process.

I’m really excited about this!  Its a whole new phase in getting on with my diploma.

Liz (and Seema and Ruth R)

PS – I’ve tried to harvest as many email addresses as I could find – but feel free to pass on to other diploma apprentices you know who I’ve missed.

Here is the attachment to the email – the peer review template form

Presentation & Organization of Project Report Editing, shape, size How does it read, length, style etc. Are the right things included/excluded?

Mix of media, genres and styles How does it hand together, is it interesting in a range of ways in terms of how it is presented?

Management of Output Time management, delivery of the project report

Design Skills

Look at what design skills are presented

Action learning skills (for Project and Project Report) Concrete Experience (Awareness in action)

Reflective Observation (Appraisal of action outcomes) Active Experimentation (Use of piloting and trials)





Contribution to knowledge commons

For examples of other peer reviews check out these websites:




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