Producing Strong and Effective Writers Using the Peer Feedback Process
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The peer feedback process is an effective and engaging literacy activity used to support student writers learning from each other. This study used qualitative research methods to investigate the potential impact of the peer feedback process on students providing the feedback. The study focused on peer feedback’s impact on reviewers’ development of stronger writing skills. Research questions included: How does peer reviewers’ training on the peer review process for writing impact their writing skills? How does such training impact their ability to be effective peer reviewers? How does the experience as peer reviewers impact reviewers’ own writing skills? Communicating with the research participants over a 3-month period provided opportunities for them to reflect upon their experience as peer reviewers and offered insights about the impacts it had on their development as writers. Data collection methods included a student questionnaire, a focus group, and an in-depth interview, all of which encouraged students to offer detailed thoughts and ideas. Additionally, the researcher kept a journal of thoughts, questions, and ideas that contributed to the understanding of the student data. Data analysis revealed that training provided reviewers with foundational skills and knowledge that helped prepare them to be more effective reviewers and was useful when applied to their own writing process. Findings also revealed the experience of reviewing helped reviewers develop critical thinking, analysis, and synthesizing skills that assisted their own development as writers. Over time, student reviewers began to internalize the lessons they were teaching to their peers and apply them to their own writing, acting as an expert and providing support to their own process. Implications for practice are also discussed.