Student attitudes to an online, peer-instruction, revision aid in science education

Mac Raighne, A., Casey, M. M., Howard, R. and Ryan, B. (2015) Student attitudes to an online, peer-instruction, revision aid in science education. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 3(1), pp. 49-60. (doi:10.14297/jpaap.v3i1.135)

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Abstract

Peer instruction has been shown to have a positive effect on students’ engagement and learning. However, many of the techniques designed to incorporate peer instruction into the student experience are very heavy on resources. PeerWise is a free, low-maintenance, web-tool designed to allow peer instruction between students within a large class group. Students can write, answer and discuss Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) based on their work in class. In this study, we introduce PeerWise to a wide and varied cohort of science students (N=509) across different disciplines, undergraduate years, levels (certificate to honours degree) and institutes. The attitudes of the students to PeerWise are probed using a questionnaire (356 respondents). This includes responses to Likert-style questions and thematic analysis carried out on free-text responses. It is found that the students are positive about the addition of PeerWise and recognise the advantages of the software in their learning. They recognise, and articulate, the advantages of PeerWise as an active-learning, peer instruction revision tool. Further advantages and disadvantages are discussed, such as the flooding of system with easy and/or repetitive questions. Overall, the results are positive and are very similar across the varied class groups. In this study, PeerWise performs as free and low-maintenance software that allows the addition of (another) peer-instruction aspect to modules.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Casey, Dr Morag and MacRaighne, Dr Aaron
Authors: Mac Raighne, A., Casey, M. M., Howard, R., and Ryan, B.
Subjects:L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice
Publisher:Edinburgh Napier University
ISSN:2051-9788
ISSN (Online):2051-9788
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice 3(1):49-60
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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