Effects of anonymity and peer accountability during peer assessment in a graduate web-based education research methods course

Wadhwa, Gunita (2003) Effects of anonymity and peer accountability during peer assessment in a graduate web-based education research methods course. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The aim of this master's thesis was to explore the effects of anonymity and peer accountability on peer marking, and the criticality and quality of peer comments during online peer assessment. Thirty-six graduate students in a web-based education research methods course were asked to critique two research articles. Peer assessment was carried out on the students' first critique. Peer assessment involved the peer assessors assigning a numeric mark and qualitative comments on other students' critiques. An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of anonymity (anonymous vs. named) and peer-accountability (more-accountable vs. less-accountable) on peer over-marking, the number of critical, and quality comments made by the peer assessors during online peer assessment. The three main results were: First, significantly (p < .04) fewer peer assessors over-marked (i.e., peer assessors assigned a higher mark relative to the instructor) in the anonymous group, compared to the named group. Second, the peer assessors in the anonymous group provided a significantly (p < .01) higher number of critical comments (i.e., the number of negative comments or weaknesses), compared to the named group. Third, the peer assessors in the named group and the more-accountable group made a significantly (p < .01) higher number of quality comments (i.e., number of cognitive statements indicating strengths and weakness along with reasoned responses and suggestions for improvement), compared to the peer assessors in the anonymous group and the less-accountable group. No conclusive results could be derived to indicate improvement in the students' performance in critiquing the research articles. However, students' responses to the questionnaire indicated that they found the peer assessment process helpful. This study suggests that in online peer assessment, the interaction of anonymity and the degree of peer accountability affects peer marking and peer comments.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9870
Item ID: 9870
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 112-123.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 2003
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Grading and marking (Students); Peer pressure.

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