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Title:The effects of anonymity on critical feedback in computer-mediated collaborative learning
Author(s):Zhao, Yong
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Cziko, Gary A.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Teacher Training
Education, Technology of
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Abstract:This study explored the effects of anonymity on collaborative learning within the context of electronic communication. Specifically, it systematically examined the psychological and behavioral consequences of anonymity as a way to enhance criticalness in student peer reviews.
A group of preservice teachers participated in this study. The participants were asked to provide feedback to essays written by their classmates in two conditions: anonymous and identifiable. The participants used electronic mail to complete this assignment. A remailing program that would anonymize e-mail messages was developed to enable the manipulation of the independent variable.
Anonymity was found to be a double-edged sword in collaborative learning. While it allowed the participants to be more critical, it made them work less. The participants were found to be able to focus more on the essays when providing feedback anonymously than identifiably. The reviews provided in the anonymous condition were also judged more critical by the recipients and external raters than those made in the identifiable condition. However, the reviews provided anonymously were considered less helpful and of lower quality than those produced identifiably.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Zhao, Yong
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9712503
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9712503

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