PeerWise - The Marmite of Veterinary Student Learning

Sykes, A. , Denny, P. and Nicolson, L. (2011) PeerWise - The Marmite of Veterinary Student Learning. In: 10th European Conference on e-Learning, Brighton Business School, University of Brighton, UK., 10-11 Nov 2011, pp. 820-830. ISBN 9781908272232

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PeerWise is a free online student-centred collaborative learning tool with which students anonymously author, answer, and evaluate multiple choice questions (MCQs). Features such as commenting on questions, rating questions and comments, and appearing on leaderboards, can encourage healthy competition, engage students in reflection and debate, and enhance their communication skills. PeerWise has been used in diverse subject areas but never previously in Veterinary Medicine. The Veterinary undergraduates at the University of Glasgow are a distinct cohort; academically gifted and often highly strategic in their learning due to time pressures and volume of course material. In 2010-11 we introduced PeerWise into 1st year Veterinary Biomolecular Sciences in the Glasgow Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery programme. To scaffold PeerWise use, a short interactive session introduced students to the tool and to the basic principles of good MCQ authorship. Students were asked to author four and answer forty MCQs throughout the academic year. Participation was encouraged by an allocation of up to 5% of the final year mark and inclusion of studentauthored questions in the first summative examination. Our analysis focuses on engagement of the class with the tool and their perceptions of its use. All 141 students in the class engaged with PeerWise and the majority contributed beyond that which was stipulated. Student engagement with PeerWise prior to a summative exam was positively correlated to exam score, yielding a relationship that was highly significant (p<0.001). Student perceptions of PeerWise were predominantly positive with explicit recognition of its value as a learning and revision tool, and more than two thirds of the class in agreement that question authoring and answering reinforced their learning. There was clear polarisation of views, however, and those students who did not like PeerWise were vociferous in their dislike, the biggest criticism being lack of moderation by staff.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Keywords:PeerWise, veterinary, MCQ, student-centred, peer feedback, reflection, student engagement
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sykes, Dr Amanda and Nicolson, Dr Lesley
Authors: Sykes, A., Denny, P., and Nicolson, L.
College/School:University Services > Learning and Teaching Services Division
Journal Name:Proceedings of the 10th European Conference on e-Learning Brighton Business School, University of Brighton, UK. 10-11 November, 2011, Vols 1 and 2 (S Greener, A Rospigliosi, eds.),
Publisher:Academic Conferences Ltd
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2011 Academic Conferences Ltd
First Published:First published in Proceedings of the 10th European Conference on e-Learning
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the publisher

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