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Peer feedback in higher education: A questionnaire to assess students’ motivation

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Recently, there has been an increased use of peer feedback in higher education. This has been partly due to the increased student-staff ratio, which has made it difficult for teachers to provide students with individual feedback. Peer feedback has allowed for students themselves to provide the necessary feedback. However, the studentsā€™ use of the peer feedback intervention and the consequent benefits depend on several factors, including the studentsā€™ motivation to learn and to participate in the peer feedback activity.

Although a few studies have examined the association between studentsā€™ motivation and their use of a peer feedback intervention, each study has considered only one or two aspects of motivation. There is not yet a comprehensive questionnaire to assess studentsā€™ motivation to learn and to participate in a peer feedback activity. Therefore, PhD candidate Priyanka Pereira of University of Twente, with her supervisors prof. Kim Schildkamp, prof. Bernard Veldkamp, and dr. Maaike Heitink, is working to develop and validate just such a questionnaire. The questionnaire consists of two parts: the first part assesses aspects of studentsā€™ motivation to learn, while the second part assesses aspects of studentsā€™ motivation to participate in the peer feedback activity.

Theoretical framework

The first part of the questionnaire is largely based on the general cognitive view of motivation and learning strategies (McKeachie, Pintrich, Lin, & Smith, 1986), which lists three aspects of the motivation to learn: goal orientation, task value beliefs and self-efficacy beliefs. The second part of the questionnaire is largely based on the self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000), which lists three aspects of the motivation to participate in an activity: autonomy, competence and relatedness.

Development and validation of the questionnaire

Priyanka explains how they developed the questionnaire: ā€œWorking in The Netherlands, where higher education programmes are in English as well as Dutch, we wanted to create the questionnaire in both languages. We started by creating an initial English questionnaire by combining scales from existing questionnaires. Then, we conducted an expert and student appraisal of the questionnaire, followed by a pilot study and an exploratory factor analysis of the questionnaire. Next, we translated the questionnaire to Dutch. And finally, we performed further testing and a confirmatory factor analysis of the English and Dutch versions.ā€

The (almost) final questionnaire

With data collected from over 250 students so far, a 78-item questionnaire has been (almost) finalised. It has 6 scales to measure motivation to learn and 10 scales to measure motivation to participate in a peer feedback activity.

Priyanka: ā€œThe questionnaire will provide teachers with an easy way to assess their studentsā€™ motivation before using a peer feedback intervention as formative assessment. If studentsā€™ motivation is low, and hence they are less likely to use the intervention, teachers can be informed and take the necessary measures to improve their motivation, before implementing the intervention.ā€

For more information, contact:

Priyanka Pereira (p.d.pereira@utwente.nl)
Prof. Kim Schildkamp (k.schildkamp@utwente.nl)
Prof. Bernard Veldkamp (b.p.veldkamp@utwente.nl)
Dr. Maaike Heitink (m.c.heitink@utwente.nl)