Public Peer Review Motivates Higher Quality Feedback

Wang, X., Chen, Y., Godley, A., Rose, C. (2018)  Published in the 13th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS'18)

The role of feedback in learning has been well researched, but in practice high quality feedback may be scarce, for example when the source of feedback is from peer learners. Nevertheless, peer feedback may be the main source of formative feedback available in some settings, such as in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). A key part of the problem may be that students do not have sufficient incentive to offer their best feedback in settings where supervision is minimal. In this paper, we investigate whether students provide feedback of higher quality when it is done in a public setting rather than in a private setting. We report on an experimental study with 65 participants randomly assigned to a public feedback and a private feedback condition. We report the effect of the manipulation in terms of the quality of feedback offered as measured by a validated coding scheme, the subjective rating of the feedback, the effect on propensity to revise and success at increasing the quality of the writing. Limitations of the study and implications for practice are discussed.


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