The ComPAIR Project: Student Experiences with a New Teaching Technology

This presentation introduces ComPAIR, an innovative peer-feedback and teaching technology being developed at UBC. Participants will engage with the application hands-on to learn about this new way to integrate comparison and peer feedback into other modes of teaching. We will then review the results of an extended assessment of student experience with ComPAIR through three pilot courses in English, Physics and Math at UBC.

Particularly in introductory courses, the effectiveness of peer feedback can be limited by the relative newness of students to both the body of course knowledge and the skills involved in providing good feedback. ComPAIR\u2019s novel design makes use of students’ inherent ability to compare: according to the psychological principle of comparative judgement, novices are much better at choosing the “better” of two answers than at giving those answers an absolute score. Scaffolding peer feedback through comparisons, ComPAIR provides an engaging and simple environment that supports two distinct outcomes: 1) students learn how to assess their own work and that of others in a way that 2) facilitates the learning of subtle aspects of course content through the act of comparing.

We will share our approach for gathering student feedback, and review data from 168 students in the pilots. Though the use of ComPAIR required little classroom time, student-experience data suggests that students perceived this approach to increase their facility with course content, their ability to assess their own work, and their capacity to provide feedback on the work of others in a collaborative learning environment.

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