I posted a comment in response to Bardiac's post on end-of-semester writing, and I thought it deserved its own post. My question -- how do you match up students for peer review? In my writing class this semester, I started out pairing them randomly (just trying to make sure that they weren't matched with the same people); for the final paper of the semester, I tried to pair weaker students with stronger ones, figuring that the better writers would serve as good models. Of course, having been one of the better students in my own first-year writing class, I realize that they don't gain as much from those peer reviews - they're fine teaching opportunities, and they allow students to more consciously think about what they're doing right in their own writing, but their actual essays don't improve as much.
So for next semester, I'm considering mixing it up a bit, perhaps even putting students in groups of three for their longer essays. What have your experiences been with different peer review match-ups?