I have just implemented PeerWise again with my cohort of Biochemistry students this semester. For those not familiar with it PeerWise is a free-to-use online collaborative tool where students create and share multiple choice questions relevant to their course of study. Students may answer, rate and comment on questions set by peers and follow authors who make high quality contributions. As students interact with PeerWise they build up a reputation score and earn badges thus providing an incentive for engagement in the activity.
I used PeerWise for the first time in 2013/14 in a year one Biochemistry module with 195 students enrolled. By the end of the teaching period 2,411 questions had been created by 194 out of the 195 students on the module; 28,239 answers had been provided and 9,275 comments posted, evidencing a high level of engagement. Module feedback indicated that students appreciated PeerWise as a revision tool and some requested its use be extended to other modules of study. The Wordle above was derived from the free responses of students when asked in the module survey “What did you feel was particularly good about this module?”
In our hands PeerWise has proved to be an excellent tool for collaborative peer-learning and support on a relatively large module of study.
Dr Pedro Barra, Kingston University is thanked for assistance in implementing the PeerWise project at Ulster and for supplying user guides. He also obtained a grant from the Higher Education Academy to help with collaboration between Ulster and Kingston.