Skip to main content
Log in

SWDYT: So What Do You Think? Canadian students’ attitudes about peerScholar, an online peer-assessment tool

  • Original Paper
  • Published:
Learning Environments Research Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Middle- and high-school students’ attitudes towards online peer-assessment were described and examined in this study. One hundred and eighty-four (184) students answered a 16-item questionnaire about their experiences with an online peer-assessment tool called peerScholar. Overall, students in Canada converged with those in other countries with respect to attitude. That is, Canadian students tended to have a positive attitude towards the implementation of online peer-assessment in their classrooms. Additionally, students reported that they found the peer-assessment process helpful and that they felt that they benefited from the process. Unlike previous studies, students from a wider range of grade levels and subject areas were questioned. Directions for future studies that involve the peer-assessment process in the school system are discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Alberta Ministry of Education. (2012). Current initiatives. Retrieved from

  • Andreasen, M., Nielsen, H., Schroder, S., & Stage, J. (2007). What happened to remote usability testing? An empirical study of three methods. In Proceedings of CHI 2007. ACM Press. Retrieved from

  • Barker, L. J., McDowell, C., & Kalahar, K. (2009). Exploring factors that influence computer science introductory course students to persist in the major. In Proceedings of the 40th ACM technical symposium on computer science education (pp. 153–157). Chattanooga, TN

  • Bennett, R. (2011). Formative assessment: A critical review. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 18, 5–25.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (1998). Inside the black box: Raising the standards through classroom assessment. Retrieved from

  • Canadian Council on Learning (2009). State of E-Learning. Retrieved from

  • Castillo, J. C., Hartson, H. R., & Hix, D. (1998). Remote usability evaluation: Can users report their own critical incidents? In Proceedings of CHI 1998. Los Angeles, CA, April 18–23. ACM Press, New York, NY, USA, pp. 253–254. 

  • Cheng, C. K., Paré, D. E., Collimore, L.-M., & Joordens, S. (2011). Assessing the effectiveness of a voluntary online discussion forum on improving students’ course performance. Computers & Education, 56, 253–261.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cho, K., & MacArthur, C. (2010). Student revision with peer and expert reviewing. Learning and Instruction, 20, 328–338.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cho, K., & Schunn, C. (2007). Scaffolded writing and rewriting in the discipline: A web-based reciprocal peer review system. Computers & Education, 48, 409–426.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cho, K., Schunn, C., & Wilson, R. (2006). Validity and reliability of scaffolded peer assessment of writing from instructor and student perspectives. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98, 891–901.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Clements, D. H., & Sarama, J. (2003). Young children and technology: What does the research say? Young Children, 58, 34–40.

    Google Scholar 

  • Couse, L. J., & Chen, D. W. (2010). A tablet computer for young children? Exploring its viability for early childhood education. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 43, 75–98.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Davies, P. (2003). Closing the communications loop on the computerized peer assessment of essays. Association of Learning Technology Journal, 11(1), 41–54.

  • Davies, P. (2004). Don't write, just mark: the validity of assessing student ability via their computerized peer-marking of an essay rather than their creation of an essay, ALT-J, 12(3), 261–277.

  • Ebner, M., Kickmeier-Rust, M., & Holzinger, A. (2008). Utilizing wiki-systems in higher education classes: A chance for universal access? Universal Access in the Information Society, 7, 199–207. doi:10.1007/s10209-008-0115-2.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Falchikov, N. (1995). Peer feedback marking: Developing peer assessment. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 32, 175–187.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Falchikov, N. (2001). Learning together: Peer tutoring in higher education. London: Routledge Falmer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Garland, V. E. (2006). Digital literacy and the use of wireless portable computers, planners, and cell phones for K–12 education. In L. Hin & R. Subramaniam (Eds.), Literacy in technology at the K–12 level: Issues and challenges (pp. 308–321). Hershey: Idea Group Publishing.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Gibson, S., & Oberg, D. (1999). What’s happening with internet use in Alberta schools? Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 45, 239–252.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gibson, S., & Oberg, D. (2004). Visions and realities of Internet use in schools: Canadian perspectives. British Journal of Educational Technology, 35, 569–585.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gray, L., & Lewis, L. (2009). Educational technology in public school districts: Fall 2008 (NCES 2010–003). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.

    Google Scholar 

  • Haugland, S. W. (1999). What role should technology play in young children’s learning? Young Children, 54, 26–31.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kaufman, J. H., & Schunn, C. D. (2010). Students’ perceptions about peer assessment for writing: Their origin and impact on revision work. Instructional Science. doi:10.1007/s11251-010-9133-6

  • Kingsley, B. (2010). But I’m no expert! Peer assessment by first-year psychology undergraduates. Psychology Learning and Teaching, 9, 7–15.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Li, L., Steckelberg, A. L., & Srinivasan, S. (2008). Utilizing peer interactions to promote learning through a web-based peer assessment system. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 34. Retrieved from

  • Liaw, S. S., Huang, H. M., & Chen, G. D. (2007). Surveying instructor and learner attitudes toward e-learning. Computers & Education, 49, 1066–1080.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lin, S., Liu, E., & Yuan, S. (2002). Student attitudes toward networked peer assessment: Case studies of undergraduate students and senior high school students. International Journal of Instructional Media, 29, 241–254.

    Google Scholar 

  • Muir, M. (1994). Putting computer projects at the heart of the curriculum. Educational Leadership, 5, 30–33.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ontario Ministry of Education. (2012). E-learning Ontario. Retrieved from

  • Orsmond, P., Merry, S., & Reiling, K. (2002). The use of exemplars and formative feedback when using student derived marking criteria in peer and self-assessment. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 27, 309–323.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Paré, D. E., & Joordens, S. (2008). Peering into large lectures: Examining peer and expert mark agreement using peerScholar, an online peer-assessment tool. Journal of Computer Assisted learning, 24, 526–540.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Paré, D. E., & Joordens, S. (2009). peerScholar: Tired of marking? Using peerScholar to explore the change in peer grading reliability as a function of increased number of peer evaluations. Presentation at the Society for Computers in Psychology Conference (SCiP), Long Beach, CA. Retrieved from

  • Peck, K. L., & Dorricot, D. (1994). Why use technology? Educational Leadership, 51, 11–14.

    Google Scholar 

  • Swaminathan, S., & Wright, J. L. (2003). Education technology in the early and primary years. In J. P. Isenberg & M. R. Jalongo (Eds.), Major trends and issues in early childhood education: Challenges, controversies, and insights (2nd ed., pp. 136–149). New York: Teachers College Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Swift, C., & Taylor, A. (2003). The digital divide—a new generation gap. Parental knowledge of their children’s Internet use. Paediatric Child Health, 8, 275–278.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tillberg, H. K., & Cohoon, J. M. (2005). Attracting women to the CS major. Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, 26, 126–140.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tsai, C.-C. (2009). Internet-based peer assessment in high school settings. In T. Hin & R. Subrambiam (Eds.), Handbook of research on new media literacy at the K-12 level (pp. 743–754). Singapore: National Institute of Education.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Tsai, C.-C., Lin, S. S. J., & Tsai, M.-J. (2001). Developing an internet attitude scale for high school students. Computers & Education, 37, 41–51.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tseng, S. C., & Tsai, C.-C. (2007). On-line peer assessment and the role of the peer feedback: A study of high school computer course. Computers & Education, 49, 1161–1174.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vernadakis, N., Avgerinos, A., Tsitskari, E., & Zachopoulou, E. (2005). The use of computer assisted instruction in preschool education: Making teaching meaningful. Early Childhood Education Journal, 33, 99–104.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vickerman, P. (2009). Student perspectives on formative peer assessment: An attempt to deepen learning? Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 34, 221–230.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wen, M. L., & Tsai, C.-C. (2006). University students’ perceptions of and attitudes toward (online) peer assessment. Higher Education, 51, 27–44.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wen, M. L., Tsai, C. C., & Chang, C. Y. (2006). Attitudes toward peer assessment: A comparison of the perspectives of pre- service and in-service teachers. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 43(1), 83–92.

  • Wong, A., & Ng, H. (2005). Peer assessment and computer literacy for junior high school students in geography lessons in Hong Kong. International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology, 1, 120–134.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lisa-Marie Collimore.

Appendix: Student Questionnaire

Appendix: Student Questionnaire

Demographic questions

  1. 1.

    All about you—Please list your name, your teachers name, grade, name of school city, province. (open-ended)

  2. 2.

    Did you know anything about the concept/topic of this assignment beforehand?

Attitude questions

  1. 3.

    I feel very confident using the internet.

  2. 4.

    I think there is a benefit to online peer-assessment.

  3. 5.

    I like online peer-assessment.

  4. 6.

    Before I used peerScholar, I thought of this activity as a procedure for submitting my assignment.

  5. 7.

    Before I used peerScholar, I thought of this activity as a way to understand an idea from different perspectives.

  6. 8.

    After I used peerScholar, I still think of this activity as a procedure for submitting my assignment.

  7. 9.

    After I used peerScholar, I still think of this activity as a way to understand an idea from different perspectives.

  8. 10.

    It was easy to submit my composition/work in peerScholar.

  9. 11.

    It was easy to read all of my peers’ work in peerScholar.

  10. 12.

    It was easy to revise and resubmit my work in peerScholar.

  11. 13.

    Overall, peerScholar was easy to use to complete my assignment.

  12. 14.

    What did you LIKE about using peerScholar? (open-ended)

  13. 15.

    What did you DISLIKE about using peerScholar? (open-ended)

  14. 16.

    What do you feel you learned from the online peer-assessment process? (open-ended)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Collimore, LM., Paré, D.E. & Joordens, S. SWDYT: So What Do You Think? Canadian students’ attitudes about peerScholar, an online peer-assessment tool. Learning Environ Res 18, 33–45 (2015).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: