This is the blog for the SGC4L project, funded from the JISC Assessment and Feedback programme and led by the Physics Education Research Group at the University of Edinburgh.

As well as this blog, the project wiki contains documents and information on the progress, development and dissemination activities associated with the project.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Third and final Peerwise exercise in Physics 1A

This week sees the third and final PeerWise exercise in our Physics 1A course. We've collected together some of the material that we used to introduce and scaffold the activities and to provide feedback to students after the assessment activities have finished.

The resources are all available as a self-contained web-extract from our online course notes system.

The timeline is as follows:

  • Week 5: first PeerWise exercise introduced in workshops (the first 3 nodes in the web-extract)
  • Week 6: students work on creating their first questions: PW1 assessment live.
  • Week 7: feedback to students on PW1 outcomes, introduction of second PeerWise task: improving the quality of distracter answers.
  • Week 8: students work on PW2 ("PeerWiser") 
  • Week 10: introduction to PW3 ("PeerWisest"). Creation of questions synthesising more than one topic from the course. 
  • Week 11: students work on PW3

Monday, November 21, 2011

Well, someone liked it ....

Paul Richardson, from the JISC Regional Support Centre Wales, was one of the participants who came to our workshop last week as part of the JISC online conference activity week. He wrote this blog post about his thoughts on the workshop experience: I am glad we managed to offer something a bit more than just a 'sit and listen to us while we tell you what we've done'.....

Actually, Judy and I came up with several ideas for how we could have improved the session.... maybe next time.... 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

JISC online conference workshop

The online workshop in the pre-conference atcivity week at the JISC online conference has now taken place. Attendees were asked to create questions in PeerWise and to answer, rate and comment on questions posted by their fellow-attendees.

It was great to see such active participation, both in the PeerWise activity itself and in the Elluminate question and answer sessions, with questions that have given us plenty of food for thought. Thanks to all who took part!

At the JISC online conference activity week

We have an online workshop in the Activity Week ahead of the JISC online conference 2011. We'll post back some details of how the session went, including links to the Elluminate recording after it takes place.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Physics 1A second PeerWise activity

For the second PeerWise activity in Physics1A at Edinburgh, we'll be getting students to focus on the quality of the distracters that they provide as answers to the questions that they create. We used a question generated by a student last year, and added trivial or nonsense distracters. During a workshop session we challenged student groups to identify better (wrong) answers based on what they thought would be anticipated difficulties or mistakes that other students would make.

Here's what we presented to students:

Thursday, November 10, 2011


A group project within the Physics Education Research group (EdPER) has won the award for formative assessment at the Scottish e-Assessment Awards 2011.

The entry submitted by Simon Bates, Ross Galloway and Karon McBride, 'Using PeerWise for Formative Peer eAssessment in Introductory Physics Courses,' described how scaffolded tasks using PeerWise ( were set as assessed assignments in two introductory-level physics courses. PeerWise is an online question sharing and peer review application developed by the University of Auckland. Adopting a strong instructional design approach based on constructivist principles, we developed four scaffolding activities and inserted these into the workshops preceding the PeerWise assignment. The initial scaffolding activity presented to students ahead of the PeerWise assessment was well received by students. Class leaders reported a notable ‘buzz’ in the workshops when students were engaged in this activity with many students opting in subsequent workshops to work collaboratively on PeerWise during break times. In the post-course survey of students, 65% agreed that developing original questions improved their understanding of course topics.
“The biggest benefit was writing question and having to put a lot of thought in to explain the problem to other people. It really helped my understanding of parts of the subject."
The award was collected at the Scottish e-Assessment Conference in Dundee on 26 September 2011. 
Full details of the pilot implementation in 2010-11 are available on our e-learning pages