Enhancing Scientific Essay Writing Using Peer Assessment

However, it is important to be aware that some students can be mistrusting of peer review, thinking that it places their grades in the hands of unqualified peers . Basic research is very important becase without building a foundation of knowledge it is very hard to tackle specific problems in the world.

To reduce the likelihood of your students thinking this, it is important to explain the many positive outcomes that should result from them engaging with peer review. Improving the quality of undergraduate peer assessment: A case for student and staff development. For example, basic research like people investigating the manifold ways in which chemical compounds react and bind with one another in solutions and how these ways are affected by the molecular structure of the compounds is very important.

Their papers are based on a small-scale scientific investigation they performed in groups of 3-4. Prompting secondary students' use of criteria, feedback specificity and feedback levels during an investigative task. A good example is that knowledge of the molecular structure of certain compounds can be used by those with a mind to work out why they might react different in different environments.

Four days after the draft papers are due as submissions to the course learning management system, students bring two copies of their paper to class. If certain compounds reacted differently with water than with dry earths then agriculturalists might research different mixes of compounds used as fertilisers to be used by farmers in different environments that are wet or dry.

More specifically, participating in peer review can help students: A common misstep that many instructors make in approaching peer review is to assume that students already have the skills described above and that incorporating peer review simply amounts to asking students to apply these skills to the tasks of reading and responding to one another’s writing.

Instead, instructors should approach peer review as an opportunity to teach these skills and for students to practice them.

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We give students a rubric and ask them, as homework, to mark up the papers as needed. For example, scientists performed basic research into the way that sharks skin cells aligned with each other after they noticed how rough they felt to the touch.

Four days later, we pair students up in class to discuss their reviews. Further down the line, unrelated research teams used the data to perform applied research and design clothing materials for people working in harsh enivieonrments like extremely cold places or where there is a need to not tear clothing like in a building where corrosive or poisonous solutions will be regularly used.


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