Supporting Student Learning in Chemistry through Peer Review and Revision

Solaire Finkenstaedt-Quinn
Program Manager
University of Michigan

Writing is a key aspect of STEM instruction and writing-to-learn, where the focus is on using writing to support students’ conceptual understanding and disciplinary thinking, has been gaining traction. However, it can be difficult for instructors to provide students with adequate support on writing assignments when they are incorporated into large classrooms, such as introductory chemistry courses. Incorporating peer review and revision can support students as they respond to writing assignments and mitigate the need for instructor feedback. While literature exists focused on the benefits of peer review and revision for students’ writing, it is primarily in the realm of assignments targeting students’ ability to write and less is known about how peer review and revision can support students’ conceptual learning and disciplinary thinking. We will present our research plan to characterize the role peer review and revision can play in supporting student learning as they engage with writing-to-learn in STEM, with a focus on chemistry courses. The project aims consist of (1) characterizing the types of peer feedback that students give and receive, as well as the types of revisions they make; (2) identifying students’ approaches to and perceptions of peer review and revision; and (3) assessing whether and how reflective interventions support student learning through peer review and revision. In addition, we will present preliminary results for Aims 1 and 2 of the grant.


Solaire Finkenstaedt-Quinn, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI