Self- and peer-assessment in collaborative writing: Findings on motivational-emotional aspects, usability and usage patterns

Gudrun Wesiak, Mohammad AL-Smadi, Christian Gütl


With the growing demands on learners in modern e-learning environments, new ways for social learning and corresponding assessments have to be developed. Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) with integrated Web 2.0 features offers a possibility to enhance e-learning processes with group work and social interactions. This study reports findings from a collaborative writing assignment using an enhanced wiki system with integrated self- and peer-assessments as well as features to continuously monitor the group's collaboration progress. Twenty-three computer science students collaborated in small groups to write a short paper. Over the course of the assignment, students rated their attitudes towards self- and peer- assessments, their emotional status and the usability of the ‘co-writing Wiki' by means of three questionnaires. To obtain more information about students' ways to use the co-writing Wiki, usage patterns derived from computer log analysis were examined. Results show large differences in individual usage patterns for example in the time spent in the co-writing Wiki, the time editing text, or the frequency of access to different features provided by the co-writing Wiki. The combination of questionnaire and log data indicates that different assessment forms are viewed positively by the students but are only used if mandatory. Furthermore, results reveal only small emotional involvement, little satisfaction with the tool's performance and a positive relationship between satisfaction and happiness, as well as negative relationships between satisfaction, anger, and sadness. Positive correlations were also found among time spent with the system, number of self-assessments and achievement as well as between intrinsic motivation and interest in the contribution progress. Thus, future research should focus on incentives for increasing intrinsic motivation and participation as well as on providing well performing systems with high usability.

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