Advertisement

Instructional Science

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 591–614 | Cite as

Understanding the benefits of providing peer feedback: how students respond to peers’ texts of varying quality

  • Melissa M. Patchan
  • Christian D. Schunn
Article

Abstract

Prior research on peer assessment often overlooks how much students learn from providing feedback to peers. By practicing revision skills, students might strengthen their ability to detect, diagnose, and solve writing problems. However, both reviewer ability and the quality of the peers’ texts affect the amount of practice available to learners. Therefore, the goal of the current study is to provide a first step towards a theoretical understanding about why students learn from peer assessment, and more specifically from providing feedback to peers. Students from a large Introduction to Psychological Science course were assigned four peers’ papers to review. The reviewing ability of each student was determined, and to whom the students provided feedback was manipulated. The features and focus of the comments from a sample of 186 participants were coded, and the amount of each type was analyzed. Overall, reviewer ability and text quality did not affect the amount of feedback provided. Instead, the content of the feedback was affected by reviewer ability. Low reviewers provided more praise than high reviewers, whereas high reviewers provided more criticism than low reviewers. This criticism from high reviewers described more problems and offered more solutions, and it focused more often on high prose and substance. In the only significant reviewer ability × text quality interaction, high reviewers described more problems in the low-quality texts than in the high-quality texts, whereas low reviewers did not make this distinction. These results suggest that high reviewers and low reviewers may utilize different commenting styles, which could significantly impact the benefits of peer assessment.

Keywords

Peer assessment Providing feedback Individual differences Revision skills 

References

  1. Anderson, J. R., Bothell, D., Byrne, M. D., Douglass, S., Lebiere, C., & Qin, Y. (2004). An integrated theory of the mind. Psychological Review, 111(4), 1036–1060.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, J. R., & Lebiere, C. (Eds.). (1998). The atomic components of thought. Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  3. Charney, D. H., & Carlson, R. A. (1995). Learning to write in a genre—what student writers take from model texts. Research in the Teaching of English, 29(1), 88–125.Google Scholar
  4. Chi, M. T. H. (1996). Constructing self-explanations and scaffolded explanations in tutoring. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 10(7), 33–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chi, M. T. H., Bassok, M., Lewis, M. W., Reimann, P., & Glaser, R. (1989). Self-explantions: How students study and use examples in learning to solve problems. Cognitive Science, 13, 145–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cho, Y., & Cho, K. (2011). Peer reviewers learn from giving comments. Instructional Science, 39(5), 629–643.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cho, K., & MacArthur, C. (2011). Learning by reviewing. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103(1), 73–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cho, K., & Schunn, C. D. (2007). Scaffolded writing and rewriting in the discipline: A web-based reciprocal peer review system. Computers & Education, 48(3), 409–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cohen, J. (1977). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  10. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  11. Falchikov, N., & Goldfinch, J. (2000). Student peer assessment in higher education: A meta-analysis comparing peer and teacher marks. Review of Educational Research, 70(3), 287–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ferris, D. R. (1997). The influence of teacher commentary on student revision. TESOL Quarterly, 31(2), 315–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Flower, L., & Hayes, J. R. (1981). A cognitive process theory of writing. College Composition and Communication, 32(4), 365–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Flower, L., Hayes, J. R., Carey, L., Schriver, K., & Stratman, J. (1986). Detection, diagnosis, and the strategies of revision. College Composition and Communication, 37(1), 16–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hayes, J. R., Flower, L., Schriver, K. A., Stratman, J. F., & Carey, L. (1987). Cognitive processes in revision. In S. Rosenberg (Ed.), Advances in applied psycholinguistics (Vol. 2, pp. 176–240)., Reading, writing, and language learning New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Inuzuka, M. (2005, July). Learning how to write through encouraging metacognitive monitoring: The effect of evaluating essays written by others. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Stresa, Italy.Google Scholar
  17. Kaufman, J., & Schunn, C. (2011). Students’ perceptions about peer assessment for writing: their origin and impact on revision work. Instructional Science, 39(3), 387–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kluger, A. N., & DeNisi, A. (1996). The effects of feedback interventions on performance: A historical review, a meta-analysis, and a preliminary feedback intervention theory. Psychological Bulletin, 119(2), 254–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Li, L., Liu, X., & Steckelberg, A. L. (2010). Assessor or assessee: How student learning improves by giving and receiving peer feedback. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(3), 525–536.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Li, L., Liu, X., & Zhou, Y. (2012). Give and take: A re-analysis of assessor and assessee’s roles in technology-facilitated peer assessment. British Journal of Educational Technology, 43(3), 376–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Logan, G. D. (1988). Toward an instance theory of automatization. Psychological Review, 95(4), 492–527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lu, J., & Law, N. (2012). Online peer assessment: effects of cognitive and affective feedback. Instructional Science, 40(2), 257–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lu, J., & Zhang, Z. (2012). Understanding the effectiveness of online peer assessment: A path model. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 46(3), 313–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lundstrom, K., & Baker, W. (2009). To give is better than to receive: The benefits of peer review to the reviewer’s own writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 18(1), 30–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). The nation’s report card: Writing 2011. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pdf/main2011/2012470.pdf.
  26. Nelson, M. M., & Schunn, C. D. (2009). The nature of feedback: how different types of peer feedback affect writing performance. Instructional Science, 37(4), 375–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Newell, A. (1994). Unified theories of cognition. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Newell, A., & Rosenbloom, P. (1981). Mechanisms of skill acquisition and the law of practice. In J. R. Anderson (Ed.), Cognitive skills and their acquisition (pp. 1–55). Hillsdale: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  29. Patchan, M. M., Charney, D., & Schunn, C. D. (2009). A validation study of students’ end comments: Comparing comments by students, a writing instructor, and a content instructor. Journal of Writing Research, 1(2), 124–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Patchan, M. M., Hawk, B., Stevens, C. A., & Schunn, C. D. (2013). The effects of skill diversity on commenting and revisions. Instructional Science, 41(2), 381–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Patchan, M. M., & Schunn, C. D. (under review). Understanding the benefits of receiving peer feedback: A case of matching ability in peer-review.Google Scholar
  32. Patchan, M. M., Schunn, C. D., & Correnti, R. J. (under review). The nature of feedback—revisited: How feedback features affect students’ willingness and ability to revise.Google Scholar
  33. Roediger, H. L. (2007). Twelve tips for reviewers. APS Observer, 20(4), 41–43.Google Scholar
  34. Singley, M. K., & Anderson, J. R. (1989). The transfer of cognitive skill. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Strijbos, J.-W., & Sluijsmans, D. (2010). Unravelling peer assessment: Methodological, functional, and conceptual developments. Learning and Instruction, 20(4), 265–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. The College Board. (2012). SAT Percentile Ranks. Retrieved from: http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/research/SAT-Percentile-Ranks-2012.pdf.
  37. Thorndike, E. L., & Woodworth, R. S. (1901). The influence of improvement in one mental function upon the efficiency of other functions. Psychological Review, 8(3), 247–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Topping, K. J. (2005). Trends in PEER LEARNING. Educational Psychology, 25(6), 631–645.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Topping, K. J., Dehkinet, R., Blanch, S., Corcelles, M., & Duran, D. (2013). Paradoxical effects of feedback in international online reciprocal peer tutoring. Computers & Education, 61, 225–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wallace, D. L., & Hayes, J. R. (1991). Redefining Revision for Freshmen. Research in the Teaching of English, 25(1), 54–66.Google Scholar
  41. Wooley, R. S., Was, C., Schunn, C. D., & Dalton, D. (2008). The effects of feedback elaboration on the giver of feedback. Paper presented at the Cognitive Science, Washington DCGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

Personalised recommendations