Results and Findings
The Effects of Providing Grading/Feedback on the Quality of Writing
Figure 6.1 shows that there was no correlation between the extent of reported usefulness of providing peer grading/feedback and the quality of MOOCs users’ writing, including assignments and notes on the discussion board in each unit. When we qualitatively analyzed students’ posts in terms of benefits of providing grading and feedback, we found that some students reported that providing peer grading/peer feedback could benefit them a lot. In the following excerpts from learners’ posts after they had finished the job of reviewing five peers’ assignments, learners talked about how providing peer grading/feedback benefitted them:
Student A: Personally, I think peer review is very useful. From peer review, we can see other angles of thinking in tackling the problems, find the problems I have ignored, find some good books from others’ reading list and enrich our reading experience. I am really inspired by my peers’ writing. “In addition, I have a better understanding on how to address the assignments and express my ideas after peer review. I find peer review really is not bad.”
Student B: “I think peer review is pretty good. After peer review, I know more about my own writing and other peers’ thought. Really help me.”
From the above excerpts, we found that students could benefit from seeing things from different angles and reflecting on their own ideas, strengths, and
Fig. 6.1 The relationship between the quality of writing and the reported usefulness of providing feedback weaknesses in the essay or note writing in the process of peer review. However, some students complained that they learned little from peer review. For instance, Student C wrote that:
I find there is no point to review other peers’ essay. The point to use peer review is to improve our understanding in the interaction. However, I feel that the chance of being benefitted is very slim based on my past experience.
From the posts, we found that whether students benefitted or not from peer review and to what extent it benefitted them was based on the quality of their peers’ essay.