I am really excited to have been able to be a peer reviewer several times in my first year in the PhD program. Last fall I was able to review ISTE 2011 proposals and I just finished reviewing ISTE 2012 proposal as well. Earlier this fall I reviewed AERA 2012 proposals and I am keeping my fingers crossed that I also get to review SITE 2012 proposals later this month. I have also been a peer reviewer of three books and provided feedback on a total of ten chapters.
Why do I find this so interesting? Well, by reviewing what others propose to submit to conferences and what they write and submit for publication helps me better understand what people within the field work on and I can see where the field is going – I learn what others are interested in. I also learn what standards they hold and what research they are conducting. Knowing this helps me plan my own research and to stay current in the field. I learn the “big” names and whose work to immerse myself more into for further learning.
I love writing. Engaging deeply in reading what others write and from writing several book chapters, journal articles, and conference proposals I have learned a lot. I can identify good writing and continuously strive to write well myself. My writing has definitely improved immensely from reading scholarly work, from practicing writing, and from getting feedback from my professors and peers on my writing. Because of this, I also thoroughly enjoy providing constructive feedback to others to help improve their writing and in an extension the general audience experience. It’s a purely positive cycle!