Online peer reviews: A lasting innovation from the COVID pandemic?
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CitationBakhtiyarov, R., Bush, C.J., (2022). Online Peer Reviews: A Lasting Innovation from the COVID pandemic?. The Global e-Learning Journal. 9(1), pp. (1-17).
The COVID pandemic caused a forced transition to online learning as schools were closed to stop the spread of the disease. Schools and teachers coped with this by adapting face-to-face activities to the online environment in innovative ways. This study investigates the effectiveness of conducting peer reviews online and considers whether this innovation should be retained after the pandemic ends. It was conducted in a small, private university in a developing country. Out of 130 students, 34 surveys were collected (26%) that contained useful quantitative and qualitative data. The checklist forms used in the peer reviews were compared to the subsequent draft to see the uptake of the feedback. The results showed that students incorporated 72% of the peer suggestions in the next versions of their report. Overall, the peer reviews were found to be effective, motivating, and to increase confidence as a writer. Students considered the most effective way to improve writing is with a combination of peer and teachergiven feedback. Interestingly, no clear preference for face-to-face peer reviews was indicated. Therefore, it seems that conducting peer reviews online is a valid option for teachers who want to save valuable class time. To enhance the effectiveness of online peer reviews it is suggested that teachers give substantial learner training prior to the peer review, provide structure such as checklists or guidelines, and increase accountability by giving students a chance to meaningfully evaluate the comments and participation of their peer reviewers.