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Journal Article

Can Online Peer Review Assignments Replace Essays in Third Year University Courses? And if so, What are the Challenges?  pp147-158

Martin Smith

© Mar 2012 Volume 10 Issue 1, ICEL 2011, Editor: Philip Balcean, pp1 - 158

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Abstract

Essays are a traditional component of the course requirements in many post‑secondary courses. However, the practical and pedagogical disadvantages of essays are significant. These include the increasing ease with which essays can be plagiarized, the lack of peer involvement in the traditional essay submission and feedback process, the usual lack of meaningful instructor‑student intellectual discourse in the essay development and feedback process, and the inability to include hyperlinks and non‑text media in essays submitted on paper. It is suggested that as instructors make the transition from traditional to blended/online instruction, they consider jettisoning the traditional essay requirement and replace it with some form of “assignment essay/peer review” system such as the one described. Contemporary Learning Management Systems facilitate peer review and peer assessment approaches in ways that were not available in traditional offline education. This paper describes and discusses an online assignment system utilizing peer commentaries that addresses many of the shortcomings of these traditional essay requirement. The system is modeled after peer commentary academic journals such as Behavioral and Brain Sciences and Current Anthropology. This system has successfully been used as a substitute for the traditional essay requirement in a number of third year psychology course sections platformed on both Moodle and Blackboard. The advantages, challenges and practicalities of instituting, managing and grading such peer‑reviewed assignments are outlined, and the benefits of the system in terms of student engagement, intellectual modeling, and learning community enhancement are discussed. The peer reviewed assignment system is discussed in the context of recent research indicating some advantages of blended learning approaches compared to traditional approaches. Criticisms of peer feedback approaches are examined, and instructors are encouraged to provide students with detailed instructions and criteria regarding the peer review process. It is hoped that the discussion will be particularly useful to instructors who are in the process of moving from traditional face‑to‑face course context to the blended/online education environment.

 

Keywords: peer assessment, peer review, blended learning, LMS, essays

 

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Journal Article

Peer Feedback in Learner‑Learner Interaction Practices. Mixed Methods Study on an xMOOC  pp122-135

Josemaria Elizondo-Garcia, Katherina Gallardo

© Jan 2020 Volume 18 Issue 2, Editor: Heinrich Söbke and Marija Cubric, pp114 - 206

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Abstract

Although xMOOCs have shown benefits due to their accessibility to expert knowledge, the quality of their pedagogical proposal remains contested. It has not yet been proven that online education’s learner‑learner interaction practices in xMOOCs generate an improvement in the quality of learning and academic achievement. Peer feedback is a practice that can enhance learning in an environment with diverse student profiles and limited instructor participation. The present mixed methods study was devoted to identifying the perceptions of xMOOC participants regarding learner‑learner interaction and feedback practices. In the Energy Saving course on MexicoX platform, 1,176 participants answered an initial survey, 486 participants answered a final survey and 14 participants were interviewed after completing the course. Results show that most of the participants are willing to interact with their peers and participate in peer feedback activities. Although, in practice its value for summative assessment is an important factor that may predict involvement. It is found that diversity of expertise level is not an obstacle for participants to interact. Rather, participants consider that they may benefit from diversity by assessing their peer assignments and learning different alternatives and strategies in which a problem can be solved. Further, it is identified that peer assessment activities are more adequate for providing feedback than discussion forums, since the first promotes an environment in which participants can observe the performance of their peers showed in a more complex assignment. The findings of this study allow us to analyse inherent and external factors that configure learner‑learner interaction and that affect peer feedback in xMOOCs. It is concluded that more research is needed in order to understand the effect of some factors that may affect peer interaction and peer feedback in xMOOCs and to propose better strategies to improve peer feedback effectiveness.

 

Keywords: feedback, peer feedback, peer review, discussion boards, learner-learner interaction, formative assessment, MOOC

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 18 Issue 2 / Feb 2020  pp114‑206

Editor: Heinrich Söbke, Marija Cubric

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Keywords: Blended learning; constructivism, behaviourism, objectivism, learning theory, context, feedback, peer feedback, peer review, discussion boards, learner-learner interaction, formative assessment, MOOC, e-learning, technology acceptance model, Educational data mining, Moodle, social media, Facebook, clustering, decision trees

 

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