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Student Peer Review - Improving Feedback and Enhancing Learning Dr Anne Jones Centre for Educational Development Dr Bjoern Elsaesser School of Planning,

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Presentation on theme: "Student Peer Review - Improving Feedback and Enhancing Learning Dr Anne Jones Centre for Educational Development Dr Bjoern Elsaesser School of Planning,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Student Peer Review - Improving Feedback and Enhancing Learning Dr Anne Jones Centre for Educational Development Dr Bjoern Elsaesser School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering

2 Structure Introduction to peer review Case example from MEng Civil Engineering Level 4 module Some software to support peer review

3 Peer assessment or peer review? Peer assessment – where students award marks and may also give feedback Peer review – students provide feedback to each other – develops students ability to construct feedback Peer learning


5 Peer feedback can … Add to the amount and variety of feedback students already receive without adding to staff workload Address timeliness while it matters and with the opportunity to act on it Provide feedback in a language understood by the students Provide multiple sources of feedback – more realistic of the real world – develops ability to reconcile different viewpoints Engage students in constructing feedback

6 Active learners – high level activity that is cognitively demanding Active engagement with criteria and standards Often there is an element of reciprocity – feedback provided on the same piece of work Disciplinary expertise – writing feedback commentaries deepens understanding Learning communities Self-assessment skills and professional life

7 Staff concerns Students do not have the knowledge or skill to comment on anothers work Too critical and harsh in their comments Compromise academic integrity Too time consuming

8 Student concerns This is your job We dont know how to do this I wouldnt trust the comments of another student What if I get a weaker student or someone I dont trust reviewing my work?

9 Implementing peer review Use exemplars to introduce students to the process Ask students to suggest something which could be improved upon or is not included which could be relevant Ask students to review more than one piece of work so that the author of the work has comments to compare – and self-assess

10 Tutor provides assessment on the quality of the feedback – ensures students engage

11 TESTA project Poor quality lab reports Students worked in groups to produce their lab report as a poster Students asked to write comments on all the posters increased learning gains in lab reporting and exams Encouraged time and effort on challenging tasks Opportunity to use the feedback Creates learning communities

12 Hammer, Kell and Spence (2007) Peer review and feedback on essay in English with 80 students Used electronic software Aropä which manages the anonymous distribution – cf PeerMark Assessment rubric provided by staff Marks for participation NOT quality Set up so that student did not review their own topic

13 Students asked to provide a response to the following: – What issue is the essay addressing? – What is the main argument? Or suggest an argument – What support does the author offer for the argument? Suggest a counter-argument – Identify a characteristic sentence in the draft and suggest how it might be improved

14 Student views: – Positive – Doing the review and using the assessment criteria gave them an insight into how their work was assessed – Providing feedback would help them become more able to self-assess – Identified blind spots in their own writing and learned from the writing styles of others



17 Content Introduction to the topic Overview of module Issues with students learning Student peer review process Example reviews The lecturers experience Pros & cons Wider issues with module Conclusion

18 Hydraulics 4 MEng/MSc Civil Eng ½ module in 2 nd semester of level students -> introduce students to the principles and practice of advanced fluid mechanics in engineering -> emphasis on environmental problems and renewable energy systems 12 weeks split into two parts: – ~5 weeks for research of topic and report / lecture 2 weeks peer assessment of above – 5 weeks applied analysis to engineering problem Reporting and presentation

19 Hydraulics 4 MEng/MSc Civil Eng Topics taught: Hydropower & Tidal power Turbo machinery in hydropower, types, typical features, characteristics, key design specifications Free stream rotors, types, blade element momentum theory, Design of spillways and overflow structures, Aspects of hydrodynamic forces on structures in rivers, coasts and offshore Transient & two phase flow problems Transient pipe flows / Surge chambers and overflows, Sediment transport processes, Hydrodynamics theory Navier Stokes equation & its application

20 Deficit of students at level 4 Reports had been very superficial Very little evidence based description of topics Limited number of equations and factual design guidance Limited evidence of acquired transferable knowledge Heavily criticised by colleagues as easy subject (reflected by student numbers)

21 Assessment Group report / lecture note Peer reviewProject / AnalysisPresentation Groups of 2-4 students One topic 45% Individual All other topics 10% Group as previous Topic different to previous 35% Group On project / analysis 10% Ongoing consultation with lecturer Lecturer edited peer feedback Ongoing consultation with lecturer Verbal feedback Feedback

22 Setting out the peer review Students informed at introduction about the peer review process Review does not replace tutors marking, review forms part of indiv. assessment Students are given marking sheet and criteria Total marks set out for each criteria At review stage process is explained again Students are asked to review as individual (not in groups)

23 Example reviews

24 The lecturers experience Has worked well and not increased workload Can provide strong evidence for freeloaders Vehicle to providing feedback to students Review provide an excellent assessment matrix Widened the gap between good and less adept students?

25 Assessment matrix

26 peer review – the issues Pros Widens knowledge from one topic to several Individual mark for individual students Good students clearly identify deficits and apply to their own work Quick feedback Cons Low grade students left behind? – Own assessment – Ability to judge good work from poor – Skim only surface of topic Assessment of peer review is summative, no chance to improve

27 Wider issues in Hydraulics 4 Varying student number Varying quality of reports produced Staff effort Evidence of enhanced knowledge & understanding Widening gap between different grades of students

28 Using technology to support peer review PeerMark PeerWise

29 PeerMark Part of the Turnitin suite Students upload work System can be set up to distribute the papers randomly and anonymously if required Includes option for self-review Can include a rating if peer assessment is wanted Tutor can see all reviews Ability to make all reviews available to the group following the exercise

30 PeerWise University of Auckland Free – open source Staff set up the class Students asked to register and select nom de plume - Students write MCQs with appropriate feedback Students answer and review the questions of their peers High level cognitive activity


32 References Hamer, J., Kell, C. and Spence, F. (2007) Peer assessment suing Aropä, Australian Computing Society, available at: assessment-using-Aropa.pdf assessment-using-Aropa.pdf Nicol, D (2010) From monologue to dialogue: improving written feedback in mass higher Education Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 35:5, TESTA project

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