How to improve the peer review method: Free-selection vs assigned-pair protocol evaluated in a computer networking course

Research areas:
Year:
2012
Type of Publication:
Article
Authors:
Journal:
Computers & Education
Volume:
59
Number:
2
Pages:
182 - 195
ISSN:
0360-1315
Abstract:
This study provides field research evidence on the efficiency of a “free-selection” peer review assignment protocol as compared to the typically implemented “assigned-pair” protocol. The study employed 54 sophomore students who were randomly assigned into three groups: Assigned-Pair (AP) (the teacher assigns student works for review to student pairs), Free-Selection (FS) (students are allowed to freely explore and select peer work for review), and No Review (NR) (control group). AP and FS student groups studied and reviewed peer work in the domain of Computer Networking, supported by a web-based environment designed to facilitate the two peer review protocols. Our results indicate that students following the Free Selection protocol demonstrate (a) better domain learning outcomes, and (b) better reviewer skills, compared to the AP condition. Overall, the study analyzes the benefits and shortcomings of the FS vs. AP review assignment protocol, providing evidence that the FS condition can be multiply beneficial to students who engage in peer review activities.


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