“With Tension Comes a Little Work”: Motivation and Safety in Online Peer Review

“With Tension Comes a Little Work”: Motivation and Safety in Online Peer Review

Jacquelyn Chappel (University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA & Kapiolani Community College, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2122-8.ch013
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“‘With Tension Comes a Little Work': Motivation and Safety in Online Peer Review” investigates whether the infringement of privacy inherent in using semi-public Web 2.0 platforms disrupts students' sense of safety. Grounded in the work of composition theorist Peter Elbow, this study offers a qualitative study using a questionnaire and focus group interviews to report on the experiences of 33 students using Google Drive in a freshman writing class. Contrary to the conventional wisdom that students need to feel safe in order to learn, the study finds that some discomfort contributed to student motivation and that too much comfort actually decreased motivation.
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As the internet enables a greater sharing of student work, the trend to share work amongst students has been widely lauded for its pedagogical benefits. Students sharing online has the potential to activate the social aspects of institutional learning environments (Castek, 2013; Wheeler, 2010) and increase student motivation (Mills, 2010; Vetter, 2014) by providing a wider audience (Lammers, 2012). By allowing students to collaborate to create a publicly shared work, students learn to negotiate with one another and reflect deeply on what goes into quality writing (Lundin, 2008; Warschauer & Liaw, 2006; Vetter, 2014).

While these interactive spaces have been championed for promoting engagement and motivation, educators would do well to ask if some students are adversely affected by the semi-public nature of these online spaces. If so, is their privacy and achievement compromised? And if compromised, how and why?

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