Reciprocal peer assessment as a learning tool for secondary school students in modeling-based learning

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate how reciprocal peer assessment in modeling-based learning can serve as a learning tool for secondary school learners in a physics course. The participants were 22 upper secondary school students from a gymnasium in Switzerland. They were asked to model additive and subtractive color mixing in groups of two, after having completed hands-on experiments in the laboratory. Then, they submitted their models and anonymously assessed the model of another peer group. The students were given a four-point rating scale with pre-specified assessment criteria, while enacting the peer-assessor role. After implementation of the peer assessment, students, as peer assessees, were allowed to revise their models. They were also asked to complete a short questionnaire, reflecting on their revisions. Data were collected by (i) peer-feedback reports, (ii) students’ initial and revised models, (iii) post-instructional interviews with students, and (iv) students’ responses to open-ended questions. The data were analyzed qualitatively and then quantitatively. The results revealed that, after enactment of the peer assessment, students’ revisions of their models reflected a higher level of attainment toward their model-construction practices and a better conceptual understanding of additive and subtractive color mixing. The findings of this study suggest that reciprocal peer assessment, in which students experience both the role of assessor and assessee, facilitates students’ learning in science. Based on our findings, further research directions are suggested with respect to novel approaches to peer assessment for developing students’ modeling competence in science learning.

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Notes

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    It has to be noted that all the quotes presented in this manuscript were translated from German to English.

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Acknowledgements

This study was conducted in the context of the research project ASSIST-ME, which is funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Development (grant agreement no. 321428).

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Correspondence to Olia E. Tsivitanidou.

Additional information

Olia Tsivitanidou. Learning in Science Group, Department of Educational Sciences, University of Cyprus, P. O. Box 20537, 1678 Nicosia, CY, Cyprus. Email: tsivitanidou.olia@ucy.ac.cy

Current themes of research:

Reciprocal peer-assessment processes in (computer-supported) learning environments. Inquiry-based learning and teaching in science. Science communication research.

Most relevant publications:

Tsivitanidou, O. E., & Constantinou, C. P. (2016). A study of students’ heuristics and strategy patterns in web-based reciprocal peer assessment for science learning. The Internet and Higher Education, 29, 12–22.

Tsivitanidou, O., & Constantinou, C. (2016). Undergraduate students’ heuristics and strategy patterns in response to web-based peer and teacher assessment for science learning. In Malcolm Vargas (Ed.), Teaching and Learning: Principles, Approaches and Impact Assessment. (pp. 65–116). New York: Nova Science Publishers, (ISBN: 978-1-63485-228-9).

Hovardas, T., Tsivitanidou, O. E., & Zacharias, C. Z. (2014). Peer versus expert feedback: investigating the quality of peer feedback among secondary school students assessing each other’s science web-portfolios. Computers & Education, 71, 133–152.

Tsivitanidou, O. E., & Zacharias, C. Z., & Hovardas, T. (2011). Investigating secondary school students’ unmediated peer assessment skills, Learning and Instruction, 21 (4), 506–519.

Costas P. Constantinou. Learning in Science Group, Department of Educational Sciences, University of Cyprus, P. O. Box 20537, 1678 Nicosia, CY, Cyprus. Email: c.p.constantinou@ucy.ac.cy

Current themes of research:

Interaction. Thinking. Metacognition in the context of inquiry-oriented science learning.

Most relevant publications:

Nicolaou, C. T., & Constantinou, C. P. (2014). Assessment of the modeling competence: a systematic review and synthesis of empirical research. Educational Research Review, 13, 52–73.

Iordanou, K., & Constantinou, C. P. (2014). Developing pre-service teachers’ evidence-based argumentation skills on socio-scientific issues. Learning and Instruction, 34, 42–57.

Kyza, E. A., Constantinou, C. P., & Spanoudis, G. (2011). Sixth graders’ co-construction of explanations of a disturbance in an ecosystem: exploring relationships between grouping, reflective scaffolding, and evidence-based explanations. International Journal of Science Education, 33(18), 2489–2525.

Papadouris, N., & Constantinou, C. P. (2010). Approaches employed by sixth-graders to compare rival solutions in socio-scientific decision-making tasks. Learning and Instruction, 20(3), 225–238.

Papadouris, N., & Constantinou, C. P. (2010). Approaches employed by sixth-graders to compare rival solutions in socio-scientific decision-making tasks. Learning and Instruction, 20(3), 225–238.

Peter Labudde. Centre for Science and Technology Education, School of Education, University of Applied Sciences and Arts North-western Switzerland, Steinentorstrasse 30, Basel 4051, Switzerland. Email: peter.labudde@fhnw.ch

Current themes of research:

Learning and teaching processes in science education. Empirical teaching research. Interdisciplinary teaching and learning. Teacher professional development and gender studies.

Most relevant publications:

Börlin, J. & Labudde, P. (2014): Swiss PROFILES Delphi study: implication for future developments in science education in Switzerland. In: C. Bolte; J. Holbrook; R. Mamlok-Naaman & F. Rauch (Eds). Science Teachers’ Continuous Professional Development in Europe. Case Studies from the PROFILES Project (pp. 48–58). Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin.

Fischer, H.E.; Labudde, P.; Neumann, K; & Viiri, J. (Eds., 2014): Quality of Instruction in Physics, Comparing Finland, Germany and Switzerland. Münster: Waxmann.

Labudde, P. & Delaney, S. (2016): Experiments in science instruction: for sure! Are we really sure? In: I. Eilks; S. Markic & B. Ralle (Eds.). Science Education Research and Practical Work (p. 193–204). Aachen: Shaker.

Labudde, P.; Nidegger, C.; Adamina, M. & Gingins, F. (2012): The development, validation, and implementation of standards in science education: chances and difficulties in the Swiss project HarmoS. In: Bernholt, S.; Neumann, K. & Nentwig, P. (Hrsg.): Making it tangible: learning outcomes in science education (pp. 235–259). Münster, New York, München, Berlin: Waxmann.

Mathias Ropohl. Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education, Olshausenstrasse 62, 24118 Kiel, Germany. Kiel University, Olshausenstr. 75, 24118 Kiel, Germany. Email: ropohl@ipn.uni-kiel.de

Current themes of research:

Formative and summative assessment methods of students’ competencies in chemistry. Analysis of the use of media in science education. Professionalization of teacher candidates in the first and second phase of pre-service teacher education.

Most relevant publications:

Rönnebeck, S., Bernholt, S., & Ropohl, M. (2016). Searching for a common ground—a literature review of empirical research on scientific inquiry activities. Studies in Science Education, 52(2), 161-197. doi:10.1080/03057267.2016.1206351.

Walpuski, M., Ropohl, M., & Sumfleth, E. (2011). Students’ knowledge about chemical reactions – development and analysis of standard-based test items. Chemistry Education: Research and Practice, 12, 174-183.doi:10.1039/C1RP90022F

Ropohl, M., Walpuski, M., & Sumfleth, E. (2015). Welches Aufgabenformat ist das richtige?—Empirischer Vergleich zweier Aufgabenformate zur standardbasierten Kompetenzmessung. Zeitschrift für Didaktik der Naturwissenschaften, 21, S. 1–15. doi:10.1007/s40573-014-0020-6.

Silke Rönnebeck. Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education, Olshausenstrasse 62, 24118 Kiel, Germany. Kiel University, Olshausenstr. 75, 24118 Kiel, Germany. Email: sroennebeck@uv.uni-kiel.de

Current themes of research:

The fifth author is currently working as a Research Scientist at Kiel University. Her research interests include the assessment of scientific competencies in international large-scale assessments (PISA), formative assessment, inquiry-based teaching and learning, and effective teacher professional development.

Most relevant publications:

Rönnebeck, S., Bernholt, S., & Ropohl, M. (2016). Searching for a common ground—A literature review of empirical research on scientific inquiry activities. Studies in Science Education, 52(2), 161-197. doi:10.1080/03057267.2016.1206351.

Rönnebeck, S., Schöps, K., Prenzel, M., Mildner, D. & Hochweber, J. (2010). Naturwissenschaftliche Kompetenz von PISA 2006 bis PISA 2009. In E. Klieme, C. Artelt, J. Hartig, N. Jude, O. Köller, M. Prenzel, W. Schneider & P. Stanat (Hrsg.), PISA 2009 - Bilanz nach einem Jahrzehnt (S. 177–198). Münster: Waxmann.

Nentwig, P., Roennebeck, S., Schoeps, K., Rumann, S., & Carstensen, C. (2009). Performance and levels of contextualization in a selection of OECD countries in PISA 2006. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 46(8), 897–908.

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Tsivitanidou, O.E., Constantinou, C.P., Labudde, P. et al. Reciprocal peer assessment as a learning tool for secondary school students in modeling-based learning. Eur J Psychol Educ 33, 51–73 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10212-017-0341-1

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Keywords

  • Formative assessment
  • Reciprocal peer assessment
  • Peer feedback
  • Modeling competence
  • Model-construction practices