Inquiry-based writing has been shown to increase students’ scientific knowledge (Walker & Sampson, 2013). One ubiquitous example of inquiry-based writing is the lab report assignment, whose purpose is to learn and practice research article writing and demonstrate that learning to their lab instructors (Parkinson, 2017). The learning goals of lab reports are to encourage deeper understanding of science as a process and to demonstrate how to think in a scientific way, as opposed to considering science as lists of memorized facts and findings (Deiner et al., 2012). Lerner (2007) and Russell (2002) described the original purpose of lab reports as to prepare students to act, think, and write like real scientists. Toward this purpose, lab reports target development of scientific writing skills as well as scientific inquiry (Harris, 2009). Lab reports mimic the process of scientific inquiry and are formatted as scientific publications, though assessment is by instructors rather than peers. In the context of assignments, “peer review is understood to mean the educational arrangement in which students consider or evaluate the value, quality or success of work produced by their fellow students and provide each other with feedback” (Pearce et al., 2009, p. 3). Peer review has an important role in improving writing, reading, and collaborating. It also helps lower or prevent writing errors, ensure accurate reporting, and improve grades (Colthorpe et al., 2014). In addition to improving individual grades, peer review also contributes to improving critical thinking and self-assessment skills, collaboration and communication skills, as well as increasing motivation, self-confidence, and independence.
Your publications, citation metrics, peer reviews and journal editing work, in one place.
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Peer Review is the most common system used for both scientific publications and scientific funding. Whenever possible, an adaptation of this system (peer review and/or peer grading) will be used as the primary evaluation method for BioPchem courses (e.g., ASU CHM 343, Physical Chemistry Lab).