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Monday, May 28 • 1:15pm - 2:00pm
Effectiveness of an Online Peer-feedback Tool

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People attending this session will learn about the effectiveness of a BC made, free, online peer-feedback tool. The tool, ComPAIR, is grounded in the notion that comparing different answers fosters learners’ understanding of the features of a strong answer. During the session, attendees will: a) try out the online tool, b) learn the results of an experimental test of the tool, and c) use a ‘classroom response system’ to engage in a discussion of the challenges of rigourously evaluating learning innovations.

The teaching innovation explored here is grounded in two basic findings of pedagogic research. First, frequent formative assessments have the benefit of incentivizing active cognitive engagement with material. Encouraging student exploration of how and why their answers can be improved, however, is difficult. Second, peer feedback activities provide students with feedback and, more importantly, an opportunity to engage in critical reasoning about the characteristics of a good ‘answer’. Taken together, peer feedback provides an opportunity for students to deepen their learning by actively engaging with the content of their own answers and those of their peers.

In addition to providing an opportunity to use the tool, we will discuss results of an experimental test of online peer feedback in which 150 students in the same course were randomly assigned to either i) complete a peer-feedback exercise, or ii) a control group with no exercise. To test the tool we consider both: a) performance on subsequent assignments across the two experimental groups, and b) results from a student survey on their experiences using the tool. The session will conclude with a moderated discussion of the challenges and opportunities related to experimental analysis of educational innovations.

avatar for Andrew Owen

Andrew Owen

Instructor, University of British Columbia
I teach political science at UBC. My courses focus on quantitative research methods, public opinion, and political psychology. I joined UBC after earning my PhD in politics at Princeton. My teaching interests include: blended learning, technology in the classroom, and learning through... Read More →

Monday May 28, 2018 1:15pm - 2:00pm AKDT
Port of San Francisco