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Abstract

Learning outcomes for introductory college-level science classes include content knowledge and a range of critical thinking and analysis skills. In this context, rich writing assignments that engage students in researching content, constructing arguments, and critiquing other students’ work are highly desirable but unwieldy due to large enrollment. Calibrated Peer Review (CPR) is a web-based program that engages peers in writing and in reviewing each other’s writing. The authors explored whether students saw CPR as simply a way to improve writing skills, or if they also thought the process had other educational benefits. The researchers gathered student perspectives using open-ended qualitative questionnaires. We report on the themes that emerged in these survey responses over two semesters, and examine some implications of the students’ perspectives for future use of CPR in an introductory science course.

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