Presentation Title

The role of Turnitin in peer review: Comparing L1 and L2 students’ use of PeerMark and their perceptions

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Abstract or Description

Paper presented at American Association For Applied Linguistics 2019, Atlanta, GA.

Turnitin has been used primarily to enhance academic integrity in the past two decades, and its newly developed functions in facilitating peer review are beginning to capture the attention of researchers and practitioners as initial studies suggest that Turnitin may play a positive role in helping engage students in collaborative learning of writing, particularly during peer review. With multiple distinctive functions (i.e., Originality report, Commenting tools, Composition marks and PeerMark questions), Turnitin may facilitate peer review and benefit students in the following aspects: fostering student participation and facilitating interactive textual exchange, enhancing students’ awareness of academic integrity, and helping to improve students’ academic writing skills. Meanwhile, the increasing number of multilingual student writers in first year writing classes calls for a better understanding of how technology-mediated pedagogical interventions may affect L1 and L2 students in different ways.

Therefore, we carried out an empirical study to investigate how Turnitin was perceived and used by L1 and L2 student writers during peer review workshops. Specifically, the current study collected and analyzed questionnaire data and archived peer review comments from 53 students enrolled in first-year writing classes to examine L1 and L2 students’ use of and perspectives on Turnitin during peer review. The questionnaires contain both Likert-scale items and open-ended questions, and the review comments include the participants’ use of composition marks and their written comments. Quantitative analysis of the Likert-scale questionnaire items helped address the question of students’ perspectives on the different functions of PeerMark and their relevance to the learning of different aspects of peer review and writing. Qualitative analysis, an iterative process of coding using a coding scheme collaboratively developed by the researchers, provided further evidence regarding students’ use of PeerMark. This presentation ends with pedagogical and research implications.


American Association For Applied Linguistics


Atlanta, GA