The PMI and P*N*I (Adapted) Peer Review Schema

For generations, the academic community has relied on peer review as a way of enhancing the knowledge base and encouraging serious scholarship. Peer review can offer many of the same benefit to students… [and] computers [can] mediate the interaction among peers (Gehringer, 2000).

  • Peer Review reflects constructive guidance at its collaborative best.
  • As an application to the classroom, Peer Review helps students and the teacher.
  • Anonymous Peer Review provides a framework for students to learn balanced reasoning at a time when modern discourse often descends into shouting and insults

Peer Reviews are most effective when combined with an evaluative schema such as the P*M*I thinking strategy, created by French physician, psychologist, philosopher, author, inventor Edward deBono. In the P*M*I strategy: 



I= Interesting Points

When using a thinking schema such as P*M*I, in an anonymous Peer Review, students learn how to offer points of help, practice proofreading, and strengthen other communication skills.

Ten years’ ago, I created the P*N*I peer review schema as an adaptation of Dr. DeBono’s original thinking strategy. In the P*N*I Peer Review strategy:

P=Pluses (something you find that is a “Plus”

N=Needs A Look (something you find that “Needs Another Look” for possible correction)

I=  (something you find that is interesting and/or thought-provoking)

Among the benefits of both the original P*M*I and P*N*I formats are the following:

  • Peer Review introduces and encourages diversity of opinion
  • Peer Review models the importance of checking work before it is turned in. When the audience is the teacher alone, sadly, many students are apathetic. But when the audience is the students’ fellow classmates, an extra attention to detail emerges.
  • Peer Review offers students a practical application in this real-world review.

Peer Review provides a review committee for the teacher who often has, to butcher Robert Frost, “miles to grade before she sleeps.”


Gehringer, E.F., (2000). Strategies and mechanisms for electronic peer review. In 30th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference. Building on A Century of Progress in Engineering Education. Conference Proceedings (IEEE Cat. No. 00CH37135) (Vol. 1, pp. F1B-2). IEEE. Retrieved from Strategies and Mechanisms for Electronic Peer