American Sociological Association

The Effect of Peer Review on Student Learning Outcomes in a Research Methods Course

In this study, we test the effect of in-class student peer review on student learning outcomes using a quasiexperimental design. We provide an assessment of peer review in a quantitative research methods course, which is a traditionally difficult and technical course. Data were collected from 170 students enrolled in four sections of a quantitative research methods course, two in-class peer review sections, and two sections that did not incorporate in-class peer review over two semesters. For the two sections with peer review, content scheduled for the days during which peer review was used in class was delivered through the online course management system. We find that in-class peer review did not improve final grades or final performance on student learning outcomes, nor did it affect performance differences between drafts and final assignments that measured student learning objectives. Further, it took time away from in-class delivery of course content in course sections that used in-class peer review. If peer review is utilized, we recommend it be assigned as an out-of-class assignment so it does not interfere with in-class teaching.

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Jessica A. Crowe, Tony Silva, and Ryan Ceresola





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