Student peer review – spreading the word
Through this project we aim to encourage more institutions throughout Australia to take up student peer review as a valuable technique to enhance and support learning.
This project has a number of components. We have collated a range of resources, and we are endeavouring to share best practice among educators using student peer review via national workshops and this website. Alongside this we are currently studying the needs of academics using student peer review and conducting research into the effectiveness of student peer review in diverse contexts. These activities are complemented by the development of a nationally available online tool (PRAZE) that simplifies the peer review process. Together these developments aim to make student peer review a simple and routine process available to any academic in Australia.
We aim to deliver the following outcomes:
1. To increase the uptake of student peer review across a large cross-section of the Australian tertiary education sector. This will have three important benefits related to the quality of the learning experience for tertiary students:
- Feedback: In surveys of student satisfaction with teaching across the sector, feedback is one area for which satisfaction scores are routinely low. Improvement in feedback quality and quantity is the most widely cited learning benefit of student peer review (Rubin 2006; Topping 1998).
- Skill acquisition: Providing and processing critical feedback helps students to develop skills valued by prospective employers and aligned with the goals of higher education: critical thinking, independent learning and self-regulation (Boud 2000; Nicol & Macfarlane-Dick 2006; Rust et al. 2003). Improvements in these skills have the potential to dramatically improve students’ employability.
- Collaborative learning: The benefits of peer and collaborative learning are well known (Krause 2005), and social and collaborative networks are expected to become increasingly important in many contexts. Yet a recent ALTC project (Enhancing interaction between domestic and international students) found that students often lack opportunities to interact with, and learn from, their peers. Student peer review encourages interaction between students from diverse backgrounds and can bring about important changes in student attitudes about collaborative learning, preparing them to become more effective contributors (Fallows & Chandramolan 2001).
2. To develop a nationally available software tool for managing student peer review. This tool, called PRAZE (Peer Review from A to Z for Education) provides academics and students with a highly flexible, customisable and user‐friendly online tool capable of accommodating the diverse needs of both educators and learners.