An analysis of peer assessment online discussions within a course that uses project-based learning

Date
2007-10-01
Authors
Hou, H. T.
Chang, K. E.
Sung, Y. T.
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Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Abstract
In recent years project-based learning (PBL) incorporating online discussions has gradually been applied to courses that focus on writing projects. Past studies have shown that learners in PBL often face the difficulties of not having in-depth data analysis and peer discussions and how teachers design the rules and methods for online discussions has a significant influence on the quality of discussion. Since using a peer assessment strategy in the classroom could facilitate learners’ critical thinking and meta-cognitive skills, this study conducts an empirical observational study in order to analyse the content and process of the discussion activities based on peer assessment without teacher intervention and tries to explore students’ knowledge construction of the discussion. Sequential analysis and content analysis were conducted to observe the scale of each aspect of knowledge construction and the sequential pattern of students’ knowledge construction during the discussions. Teachers didn’t provide any guidance or intervention during the activity. Based on the results of the observations, this study discusses the possible difficulties that students may encounter when conducting peer assessment online discussions. Finally, this study also proposes suggestions about the timing and methods for teacher interventions.
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