Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Student peer review

Peer review I'd love to add a peer-review layer to a module I teach in which student write research proposal - but with the salami slicing of module credits, who's got the time?

Student peer review: enhancing formative feedback with a rebuttal. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 13 Jun 2016 doi: 10.1080/02602938.2016.1194368
This study examines the use of peer review in an undergraduate ecology programme, in which students write a research proposal as a grant application, prior to carrying out the research project. Using a theoretical feedback model, we compared teacher and student peer reviews in a double blind exercise, and show how students responded to feedback given by each group. In addition, students wrote a rebuttal for every feedback point before re-drafting and submission. Despite students claiming they could tell if the reviewer was a teacher or student, this was not always the case, and both student and teacher feedback was accepted on merit. Analysis of feedback types and rebuttal actions showed similar patterns between students and teachers. Where teachers differed slightly was in the use of questions and giving direction. Interviews with students showed the rebuttal was a novel experience, because it required a consideration of each comment and justification as to why it was accepted, partially accepted or rejected. Being a reviewer helped students to learn about their own work, and it changed the way they understood the scientific literature. In addition, some students transferred their new peer review skills to help others outside of the ecology programme.


  1. I found that getting students to peer review was the best way of getting them to understand the marking scheme & where their own work needed improvement. That part was probably more valuable to them than the comments the peers gave them.