Learning through science writing via online peer assessment in a college biology course

Jyh Chong Liang, Chin-Chung Tsai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


This study used an online peer assessment activity to help 47 college students to learn biology through writing. Each student submitted a biology writing report to an online system and then experienced three rounds of peer assessment. During the online peer assessment process, self, peer and expert evaluation scores for the writing were gathered across three rounds. It was found that self-assessment scores were not quite consistent with the expert's scores, but the peer assessment scores demonstrated adequate validity with the expert's evaluation. In particular, when the students had more rounds of peer assessment for reviewing the writing, the validity of the peer scores was enhanced. An examination of the students' writing scores, allocated by peers and expert, indicated that the students significantly improved the writing as the peer assessment activity proceeded. Content analyses of the students' writing also revealed that their writing gradually developed with significantly better coverage, richness and organization resulting from the online peer assessment activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-247
Number of pages6
JournalInternet and Higher Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • College biology
  • Online technology
  • Peer assessment
  • Science writing
  • Self-assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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