Trends in Research on Writing as a Learning Activity
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Understanding the Effects of Receiving Peer Feedback for Text Revision: Relations between Author and Reviewer Ability

Patchan, M., & Schunn, C. (2016)
Journal of Writing Research, 8(2), 227-265

Peer assessment is a technique with many possible benefits for instruction across the curriculum. However, the value obtained from receiving peer feedback may critically depend upon the relative abilities of the author and the reviewer. We develop a new model of such relative ability effects on peer assessment based on the well-supported Flower and Hayes model of revision processes. To test this model across the stages of peer assessment from initial text quality, reviewing content, revision amount, and revision quality, 189 undergraduate students in a large, introductory course context were randomly assigned to consistently receive feedback from higher-ability or lower-ability peers. Overall, there were few main effects of author ability or reviewer ability. Instead, as predicted, there were many interactions between the two factors, suggesting the new model is useful for understanding ability factors in peer assessment. Often lower-ability writers benefitted more from receiving feedback from lower-ability reviewers, while higher-ability writers benefitted equally from receiving feedback from lower-ability and higher-ability reviewers. This result leads to the practical recommendation of grouping students by ability during peer assessment, contrary to student beliefs that only feedback from high ability peers is worthwhile.

PDF | doi: 10.17239/jowr-2016.08.02.03

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