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Journal Issue
Volume 10 Issue 1, ICEL 2011 / Mar 2012  pp1‑158

Editor: Philip Balcean

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Design and Evaluation of Student‑Focused eLearning  pp1‑12

Yongmei Bentley, Habte Selassie, Anjali Shegunshi

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Scaffolding Teachers Integrate Social Media Into a Problem‑Based Learning Approach?  pp13‑22

Lillian Buus

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Personal Devices in Public Settings: Lessons Learned From an iPod Touch / iPad Project  pp23‑31

Susan Crichton, Karen Pegler, Duncan White

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Using the Artistic Pedagogical Technology of Photovoice to Promote Interaction in the Online Post‑Secondary Classroom: The Students’ Perspective  pp32‑43

Margaret Edwards, Beth Perry, Katherine Janzen, Cynthia Menzies

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Implications of the Social Web Environment for User Story Education  pp44‑59

Terrill Fancott, Pankaj Kamthan, Nazlie Shahmir

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Collaboration Creation: Lessons Learned From Establishing an Online Professional Learning Community  pp60‑75

Colin Gray, Keith Smyth

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Correlating Questionnaire Data with Actual Usage Data in a Mobile Learning Study for High School Mathematics  pp76‑89

Vani Kalloo, Permanand Mohan

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The Global Classroom Project: Learning a Second Language in a Virtual Environment  pp90‑106

Brant Knutzen, David Kennedy

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Principled Assessment Strategy Design for Online Courses and Programs  pp107‑119

Janet McCracken, Sunah Cho, Afsaneh Sharif, Brian Wilson, Jeff Miller

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Acquiring Software Project Specifications in a Virtual World  pp120‑131

Vincent Ng, Zoe Tang

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Constructive Disruptions for Effective Collaborative Learning: Navigating the Affordances of Social Media for Meaningful Engagement  pp132‑146

Patient Rambe

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

Martin Smith

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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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