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Improving students essay-writing skills and longer response answers through online peer marking

Principal focus of the project

The focus was to reduce the teacher’s marking workload, improve, students understanding of essays, longer response answers and mark schemes, as well as being an enjoyable and novel way of learning. 

What is this about and what were the main findings?

This study of peer assessment  of essays using an online shared workspace was designed as a trial (with a control group)  conducted amongst A Level sociology and chemistry students in two colleges. The study showed a clear effect on the sociology students’ quality of work and confidence.  Some did not feel that they had particularly enjoyed the process of marking others’ work and having their marked by others. Many of the chemistry students spoke positively of the benefits of the online peer marking approach, but others felt that the approach hadn’t helped them though the process had improved the quality of their work. Data was gathered from interviews/surveys and comparative trials. 

Resource form
Number of participants who worked with the project
Name(s) of authors

Karen Lancaster - Loughborough College

Torben Smith - Bilborough College

Name of associate programmes

LSIS Practitioner Enquiry


The aim was  to use ILT to enable students to mark one another’s essays and longer response answers and suggest improvements. 

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