The Effects of Receiving Feedback on the Quality of Writing
Figure 6.2 shows that no correlation exists between the extent of reported usefulness of receiving peer grading/feedback and the quality of MOOCs users’ writing, including essay writing for the assignments and note writing on the discussion board in each unit. When we qualitatively analyzed students’ posts in terms of benefits of receiving feedback, we found that most students did not think peer review could help them. They also thought they deserved higher grades than what was given by their peers. For instance, Student C wrote that:
Fig. 6.2 The relationship between the quality of writing and the reported usefulness of receiving feedback
.our course teacher does not read what we have written and submitted in person. We have spent so much time to prepare the assignment, however they are reviewed by our peers who even read little the work of the Red Chamber Dream. So what is the point.
From the excerpt, we found that students did think their peers could provide valuable comments to them. In most peer reviews, students just received grades from their peers with few comments. Some students said that they hoped to receive many valuable comments from their peers. Only a few learners wrote that peer comments could motivate them and they found the peer comments useful. For example, Student D said that:
I found that all the five peer reviewers had given me comments. Very good job. They were very good and to the point. I think it is a good way to learn from each other. When reading the comments, I find that I just write very few comments to our peers. Next time, I will do my best when doing peer review.
This excerpt shows that the student valued and benefited from their peers’ comments. He/she also reflected on his/her own comments writing and planning to do better next time. He/she was motivated by their peers.