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  • 1.
    Aghaee, Naghmeh
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
    Hansson, Henrik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
    Peer Portal: Quality Enhancement in Thesis Writing Using Self-Managed Peer Review on a Mass Scale2013In: International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, ISSN 1492-3831, E-ISSN 1492-3831, Vol. 14, no 1, p. 186-203Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper describes a specially developed online peer-review system, the Peer Portal, and the first results of its use for quality enhancement of bachelor's and master's thesis manuscripts. The peer-review system is completely student driven and therefore saves time for supervisors and creates a direct interaction between students without interference from supervisors. The purpose is to improve thesis manuscript quality, and thereby use supervisor time more efficiently, since peers review basic aspects of the manuscripts and give constructive suggestions for improvements. The process was initiated in 2012, and, in total, 260 peer reviews were completed between 1st January and 15th May, 2012. All peer reviews for this period have been analyzed with the help of content analysis. The purpose of analysis is to assess the quality of the students work. The results are categorized in four groups: 1) excellent (18.1%), 2) good (22.7%), 3) fragmented (18.5%), and 4) poor (40.7%). The overall result shows that almost 40% of the students produced excellent or good peer reviews and almost as many produced poor peer reviews. The result shows that the quality varies considerably. Explanations of these quality variations need further study. However, alternative hypotheses followed by some strategic suggestions are discussed in this study. Finally, a way forward in terms of improving peer reviews is outlined: 1) development of a peer wizard system and 2) rating of received peer reviews based on the quality categories created in this study. A Peer Portal version 2.0 is suggested, which will eliminate the fragmented and poor quality peer reviews, but still keep this review system student driven and ensure autonomous learning.

  • 2.
    Cunningham, Una
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Language Education.
    Liminality and Disinhibition in Online Language Learning2011In: International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, ISSN 1492-3831, E-ISSN 1492-3831, Vol. 12, no 5, p. 25-37Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this paper is to bring theoretical concepts from other areas of scholarly research to bear on synchronous online education in a cross-disciplinary effort to shed light on what is going on by introducing systems of thought from other areas. The liminality and associated communitas which are found in synchronous online learning environments are examined for their possible consequences for learning in general and language learning in particular. Like computer-mediated communication, liminality has been associated with disinhibitory effects. Lack of excessive inhibition has been shown to have positive effects on second language production. The position of the online learner as “neither here nor there” or perhaps simultaneously both here and there is investigated and discussed. 

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