The use of electronic voting and peer assessment to encourage the development of higher order thinking skills in learners


  • Steve Bennett University of Hertfordshire
  • Trevor Barker University of Hertfordshire


In the research reported here, electronic voting and peer assessment were used with 215 first year computer science and information technology undergraduates undertaking an electronic media design module. In previous years it proved difficult for learners following this module to develop good quality practical skills resulting in poor results in practical tests. In this study, the module delivery team used electronic voting and a form of peer assessment in order to motivate learners and to engage them more deeply in learning. It was hypothesised that this would improve higher order thinking skills and lead to improved performance in practical work. A significant improvement in performance of 6% was achieved (p<0.001) as compared to previous years. We were able to show that the most likely reason for this was the use of electronic voting systems and peer assessment. In the concluding section of the paper we discuss some issues related to this finding and our teaching approach.