Calibrated Peer Review: How to Prepare and Upload files

Revised Version: 25th March 2011

Paul Francis


The Calibrated Peer Review system is designed for text essays, not for Physics problems. It can't handle answers with diagrams and formulae.

So instead of typing your answers direct into the Calibrated Peer Review system, you should write up your answer and post it on the web. You then type in the web address as your answer into the Calibrated Peer Review system.

Preparing your Answer (Revised, based on experience from first exercise)

What's New?

I complained to Zoho abou the problem with their viewer and they fixed it! So I'm now recommending it again as the easiest way to post a PDF on the web.

Google Docs, on the other hand, is proving troublesome. It turns out there are several ways to share your documents, and if you use the wrong one the pictures don't come out. The webcast has been changed to show a way that works (most of the time).

A small number of people posted links that didn't work, so I'm now emphasising strongly that you need to test what you post.

How to prepare and post your answers

You can prepare your answer in any way you like, as long as what you post on the web is anonymous (i.e. the people reviewing it can't find your name) and in a format that everyone can read, including the diagrams and formulae.

There are many ways you can do this: here are some possibilities. Take your pick. They are all described more fully below.

Using Google Docs

Here is a Webcast of how to prepare and share problem write-ups in Google Docs (4 minutes). Click to play.

NOTE - this has changed from last week! Google Docs can be found at If you'd prefer not to watch the webcast, here is a written description.

You will need a (free) Gmail and/or Google docs account. Click on "Create new", "document". Type away. When you want to put in a picture go to "Insert", "picture", and some pretty easy-to-use drawing tools will come up. When you want to put in an equation, go to "insert", "equation".

Once you've prepared a Google Docs answer to your taste, go to the "Share" button on the top left, then "Sharing Settings" (NOT "Publish to the Web"). It will say Permissions - private, only the people listed below can access. Click on "Change", then "Anyone with the link", then "save".

A pop-up window will appear containing the "Document link". This is what you will need to submit in the Calibrated Peer Review system. Copy it and save it somewhere safe.

IMPORTANT: Check that it works. Sign out of Google Docs, paste the web address into your browser address bar, and make sure that the pages comes up properly, complete with diagrams and pictures.

If it doiesn't work, check that you went through the steps properly. As a backup, go into your document, click on "file", "Download as", "PDF". This will put a PDF version on your computer, which you can then upload to Zoho or one of the other options below.

Using Word (or some other word processor like Pages, or Mathematica)

Write your answer in Word, using its drawing tools and equation editor.

Once it's finished, save it as a PDF (Adobe Portable Document Format) file. On a Mac, you selecting print, and then save as PDF (button in bottom left of print window).

On a PC, it depends on which version of Microsoft Office you are using. In more recent versions, one of the "save as" options is "Adobe PDF". This works on the Information Commons PCs (or click on "acrobat" in the top bar, then create PDF).

If you are using Office 2007 at home, Microsoft has released a free add-in which allows you to save as PDF: you can find it at:

Or alternatively, you can upload your word document for free at the following address, and it will be converted to PDF.

Once you've got a PDF file, check it to make sure the equations and diagrams have come out OK.

Upload to Web

There are a number of free web services to which you can upload this file.

Zoho Viewer seems to be the nicest, now that they've fixed the problems. Here is a webcast of how to upload a file to it and share it:

Click on 'Choose File" and tick the "Publish this document" check box. Set "Delete document after" to be at least a month, to give people time to review your answer.

Note the web address it gives you - this is what you will have to submit to the Calibrated Peer Review system. Click "view" to see what you've uploaded.

Once you have posted here, CHECK THAT THE LINK WORKS! Paste it into your browser and make sure thedocument comes up fine. If not, try again, or try one of the other services below.

One alternative is The following webcast shows you how to use this (no need to sign-up).

Some other alternatives include and All of these work fine for sharing your pdf file.

Hand-write and Scan

If you prefer, you can hand-write your answer (but make sure it is legible), scan it in as a single PDF document, then upload this scan to Zoho viewer or one of the alternatives (as described above).

Some students inserted the different scanned pages into a Word document, saved that as a PDF and submitted it. It allowed them to rotate pages, for example, and combine them.

You could also take digital photos of your pages, put them in a Word document, save to PDF and upload that. But make sure your working is readable.

If you don't have your own scanner, some are available in the Chifley Library, in the InfoPlace on Level 2.

Calibrated Peer Review System

By now you should have an account and password (see below if you don't), so you can just go in and read the question, read the supporting materials and submit your web link answer.

Important - after typing your web link it, copy it and paste it into a different browser window to make sure that people will be able to mark what you submitted!

Logging into the system for the first time (most of you won't need this any more)

Go to

Here is a webcast showing how you log on for the first time.

And here are written instructions, covering the same log-on process.

Click on "New users: first time logging on?"

Pop up tells you:
NOTE: Only complete this section if you do not already know your username and password.
Hit the OK button

Select institution, which is: "The Australian National University - Francis". Quite a long way down the list... If you type "t" it takes you to all entries beginning with t, which is a help.

Enter your Uni ID in the box "Enter your student ID:" then press "next"

At this point is says
Welcome to the CPR software. Please complete the following personal information requests.

Select a password, and set a challenge question (for in case you forget it...)

Press next

Check details are correct then press "Finish".

It will then tell you your CPR username. WRITE THIS DOWN! You will need this and the password you just typed to use the system.

Then go to "Access CPR software"

Log in using your CPR username (that you just wrote down) and the password you just typed.

You will then need to click on "Enter as Student".

You should then take the tour, followed by the test, whcih makes sure you've understood what was in the tour. Once you have done this, you will be ready to do the assignment.

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