Is peer review an appropriate form of assessment in a MOOC? Student participation and performance in formative peer review

Meek, S. E.M., Blakemore, L. and Marks, L. (2017) Is peer review an appropriate form of assessment in a MOOC? Student participation and performance in formative peer review. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 42(6), pp. 1000-1013. (doi: 10.1080/02602938.2016.1221052)

121718.pdf - Accepted Version



Many aspects of traditional higher education must be reconceptualised for massive open online courses (MOOCs). Formative and summative assessment of qualitative work in particular requires novel approaches to cope with the numbers involved. Peer review has been proposed as one solution, and has been widely adopted by major MOOC providers but there is currently little evidence about whether it is appropriate in the MOOC context, or under what conditions. Here, we examine student participation, performance and opinions of a peer review task in a biomedical science MOOC. We evaluate data from approximately 200 student topic summaries and 300 qualitative peer reviews of those summaries, and compare these to student demographic data (gender, age, employment status, education, national language) and to performance in multiple choice tests (MCQs). We show that higher performance in the written topic summary correlated with both higher participation in the peer review task, and with writing higher quality peer reviews. Qualitative analysis of student comments revealed that student opinion on the usefulness of the peer review task was mixed: some strongly believed it benefitted their learning, while others did not find it useful or did not participate. We suggest instructional design strategies to improve student participation and increase learning gain from peer review in the MOOC context.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Meek, Dr Sarah and Marks, Dr Leah
Authors: Meek, S. E.M., Blakemore, L., and Marks, L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1469-297X
Published Online:15 August 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor and Francis Group
First Published:First published in Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education 42(6):1000-1013
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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