Effects of written peer-feedback content and sender’s competence on perceptions, performance, and mindful cognitive processing

Abstract

Peer-feedback efficiency might be influenced by the oftentimes voiced concern of students that they perceive their peers’ competence to provide feedback as inadequate. Feedback literature also identifies mindful processing of (peer)feedback and (peer)feedback content as important for its efficiency, but lacks systematic investigation. In a 2 × 2 factorial design, peer-feedback content (concise general feedback [CGF] vs. elaborated specific feedback [ESF]) and competence of the sender (high vs. low) were varied. Students received a scenario containing an essay by a fictional student and fictional peer feedback, a perception questionnaire, and a text revision, distraction, and peer-feedback recall task. Eye tracking was applied to measure how written peer feedback was (re-)read, e.g., glance duration on exact words and sentences. Mindful cognitive processing was inferred from the relation between glance duration and (a) text-revision performance and (b) peer-feedback recall performance. Feedback by a high competent peer was perceived as more adequate. Compared to CGF, participants who received ESF scored higher on positive affect towards the peer feedback. No effects were found for peer-feedback content and/or sender’s competence level on performance. Glance durations were negatively correlated to text-revision performance regardless of condition, although peer-feedback recall showed that a basic amount of mindful cognitive processing occurred in all conditions. Descriptive findings also hint that this processing might be dependent on an interaction between peer-feedback content and sender’s competence, signifying a clear direction for future research.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Tamara van Gog and Frans Prins for their comments and suggestions to the present study.

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Correspondence to Markus Berndt.

Additional information

Markus Berndt. Institut für Didaktik und Ausbildungsforschung in der Medizin, Klinikum der Universität München (LMU), Ziemssenstr. 1, D-80336 Munich, Germany. Tel.: +49-89- 4400-57208. Fax.: +49-89-4400-57202. Email: markus.berndt@med.uni-muenchen.de, Website: http://dam.klinikum.uni-muenchen.de

Current themes of research:

a) Peer assessment and peer feedback in higher education

b) Scientific reasoning and argumentation in higher education

c) Diagnostic competencies and clinical reasoning in medical education

Relevant publications in the field of Psychology of Education:

Bolzer, M., Strijbos, J. W., & Fischer, F. (2015). Inferring mindful cognitive-processing of peer-feedback via eye-tracking: the role of feedback-characteristics, fixation-durations and transitions. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 31(5), 422–434. doi:10.1111.jcal.12091

Schworm, S., & Bolzer, M. (2014). Learning with video-based examples—are you sure you do not need help?. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 30(6), 546–558. doi:10.1111/jcal.12063

Jan-Willem Strijbos. University of Groningen, Department of Educational Sciences, Grote Rozenstraat 3, 9712 TG Groningen, the Netherlands. Tel.: +31-50-363-6658. Email: j.w.strijbos@rug.nl; Website: http://www.rug.nl/staff/j.w.strijbos/

Current themes of research:

a) Peer assessment and peer feedback

b) (Computer-supported) collaborative learning

c) Formative assessment

Most relevant publications in the field of Psychology of Education:

Bolzer, M., Strijbos, J. W., & Fischer, F. (2015). Inferring mindful cognitive-processing of peer-feedback via eye-tracking: the role of feedback-characteristics, fixation-durations and transitions. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 31(5), 422–434. doi:10.1111.jcal.12091

Panadero, E., Romero, M., & Strijbos, J. W. (2013). The impact of a rubric and friendship on peer assessment: effects on construct validity, performance, and perceptions of fairness and comfort. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 39(4), 195–203.

Strijbos, J. W. (2011). Assessment of (computer-supported) collaborative learning. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, 4(1), 59–73.

Strijbos, J. W., Narciss, S., & Dünnebier, K. (2010). Peer feedback content and sender’s competence level in academic writing revision tasks: are they critical for feedback perceptions and efficiency? Learning and Instruction, 20(4), 291–303.

Strijbos, J. W., & Sluijsmans, D. M. A. (2010). Unravelling peer assessment: methodological, functional, and conceptual developments. Learning and Instruction, 20(4), 265–269.

Frank Fischer. LMU Munich, Department of Psychology and Munich Center of the Learning Sciences, Leopoldstr. 13, 80802 Munich, Germany. Tel.: +49-89-2180-5146. Email: frank.fischer@psy.lmu.de; Website: http://www.psy.lmu.de/ffp_en/index.html

Current themes of research:

a) Computer-supported collaborative learning

b) Fostering diagnostic competences in simulation-based learning environments

c) Scientific reasoning and argumentation

d) Executive functions in complex learning environments

Most relevant publications in the field of Psychology of Education:

Fischer, F., Kollar, I., Stegmann, K., & Wecker, C. (2013). Toward a script theory of guidance in computer-supported collaborative learning. Educational Psychologist, 48(1), 56–66.

Fischer, F., Kollar, I., Ufer, S., Sodian, B., Hussmann, H., Pekrun, R., et al. (2014). Scientific reasoning and argumentation: advancing an interdisciplinary research agenda in education. Frontline Learning Research, 2(3), 28–45.

Schwaighofer, M., Bühner, M., & Fischer, F. (in press). Executive functions as moderators of the worked example effect: when shifting is more important than working memory capacity. Journal of Educational Psychology.

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Berndt, M., Strijbos, JW. & Fischer, F. Effects of written peer-feedback content and sender’s competence on perceptions, performance, and mindful cognitive processing. Eur J Psychol Educ 33, 31–49 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10212-017-0343-z

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Keywords

  • Peer assessment
  • Peer feedback
  • Mindful cognitive processing
  • Eye tracking
  • Cooperative/collaborative learning