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Peer review can be used as a teaching methodology to improve students’ learning and critical thinking. However teachers have many concerns about the reliability and validity of students’ grading.

The paper describes the application of peer review as a teaching strategy to the large course of Biomedical Informatics in the School of Medicine at the University of Florence. The aim of the study was twofold: (I) assessing the validity of students’ reviews, calculating the correlation between students’ assigned score and instructor’s assigned score; (II) assessing the validity of student’s self-evaluation, calculating the correlation between student’s assigned score and teacher’s assigned score. To this aim a statistical analysis was performed.

The results showed a moderate concordance between the marks assigned by peers and those assigned by the instructor. Neverthless the comparison between the teacher median and the peer-review median shows a minimal difference that has almost no effect on changing the final grade. Instead, there was poor concordance between the marks attributed by the instructor and those relating to the student’s self-evaluation.. Even if further studies are needed, the promising results can begin to dispel teachers’ concerns about students’ grading skills that prevent the application of peer review. On such basis, the use of peer review systems can streamline the application of in classes with a high number of students reducing the workload on the teacher.


Peer assessment Peer review Self assessment Higher Education Peer Assessment Validity

Article Details

Author Biography

Marco Masoni, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine - University of Firenze

Marco Masoni was born in Reggio Emilia on May 7th 1961.
In 1991 he obtained the Degree of Medicine at the University of Modena. In 1997 he obtained the Postgraduate Diploma in Nuclear Medicine at the University of Florence. He is scientific coordinator of the Research Unit of Didactical Innovation in Continuing Medical Education at the Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicina at the University of Florence.
He carries out research activities in the fields of e-learning in medical education and in the area of Consumer Health Informatics.
How to Cite
Guelfi, M. R., Formiconi, A. R., Vannucci, M., Tofani, L., Shtylla, J., & Masoni, M. (2021). Application of peer review in a university course: are students good reviewers?. Journal of E-Learning and Knowledge Society, 17(2), 1-8.


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