This study describes an effective learning web-based strategy, peer review, used by 143 computer science undergraduate students in an Operating Systems class at a Taiwanese university. Peer review, based on social constructivism, can be easily implemented via the authors' well-developed web-based peer review (WPR) system. Through peer review, the authors hope to form an authentic learning environment similar to an academic society in which a researcher submits a paper to a journal and receives reviews from society members before publication. Students using this learning strategy are expected to develop higher level thinking skills. The WPR system functioned in the following roles in this study: 1) an information distribution channel and management center for assignment submissions and peer review; 2) a forum for peer interaction and knowledge construction; and 3) storage for knowledge construction procedures. An evaluation of learning effects and students' perceptions about peer review during the spring of 1998 revealed that students not only performed better under peer review, but also displayed higher level thinking skills, i.e., critical thinking, planning, monitoring, and regulation. Students perceived peer review as an effective strategy that promoted their learning motivation. However, merely being an effective reviewer or an effective author may not excel in a peer review environment. The most effective individual appears to be the strategic adapter who effectively constructs a project, adjusts to peers' comments, and serves as a critical reviewer as well.
- Peer review
- Web learning