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Formative Peer Review: Promoting Interactive, Reflective Learning or the Blind Leading the Blind?
journal contributionposted on 2023-09-01, 14:18 authored by Andrew Noble
The need for effective and timely feedback on learners’ formative work is widely recognised as crucial to students’ learning and development. And yet, universities across the board consistently receive adverse comments in student surveys about the quality and effectiveness of feedback, including those institutions which score highly in other aspects of the student experience. The implementation and practice of peer review as a means of formative assessment has become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly in view of expanding class sizes, leading to a number of studies on this activity. The existing studies have revealed positive benefits of peer review, including improved interactivity, enhanced critical and analytical skills, and encouraging a reflective approach to one’s own work. The studies have also exposed negative perceptions of peer-review processes, predominantly in terms of the validity, reliability, bias, and fairness of being assessed by one’s peers. In this paper, I analyse the use of peer review for the assessment of formative work amongst a group of undergraduate law students. The study uses an empirical qualitative approach in seeking to measure both the perceived and actual effectiveness of formative peer review amongst a subject specific but academically diverse group of learners. The results of the study support some of the theoretical models and findings of previous studies regarding both benefits and detriments of peer review, but also showed a divergence from previous research in a number of important respects. The study considers the implications of these divergent traits for the students' learning experience.
Publication titleUniversity of Detroit Mercy Law Review
PublisherJoe Christensen, Inc
- Accepted version