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Title:Optimization through standardization: Investigating the efficacy of online peer review training for university ESL students
Author(s):Latham, Erika M.
Advisor(s):Yan, Xun
Contributor(s):McIntosh, Kyle
Department / Program:Linguistics
Discipline:Teaching of English Sec Lang
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Peer Review
Peer Feedback
English Composition
Second Language Writing
Formative Assessment
Assessment as Learning
Abstract:Providing feedback on student compositions has always been an important part of both L1 and L2 writing instruction. However, peer feedback as an assessment activity remains somewhat controversial and underexplored. Many of the concerns related to the validity of peer assessment can be mitigated by first training students in how to give feedback; however, the way training is delivered varies greatly in the literature and even among instructors in the same writing program. This lack of standardization limits the quality of peer review training and thereby the effectiveness of peer assessment. The current study addresses the issue of unstandardized peer review training by pilot-testing a standardized online training program, which can ensure consistency of peer feedback across face-to-face and online class sections. Employing a 2x2 factorial, mixed-methods design, this study examines the effect of standardized online training versus unstandardized classroom training on the quality of peer assessment. Data was collected using a pre-review background questionnaire, a peer review worksheet, and a post-review questionnaire to elicit participants’ (1) prior experience with peer review; (2) comments on a sample essay; and (3) perceptions of peer review and training. Participants’ comments on the essay were examined according to topics mentioned, specificity, and politeness. Participants’ comments and perceptions were first qualitatively coded, then converted to frequencies and percentages for comparison. Quantitative results reveal that standardized training increased participants’ focus on content-related topics as well as their specificity and politeness. Conversely, the classroom training had little effect on any of these features and instead kept participants focused primarily on surface-level features such as lexico-grammar and rhetorical structure. Qualitative results show that participants perceived a variety of learning outcomes after participating in the peer review activity, demonstrating the value of peer review as an assessment as learning activity rather than solely a source of corrective feedback.
Issue Date:2018-07-13
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Erika Latham
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-09-27
Date Deposited:2018-08

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