Students’ perceptions of self-selected peer learning in a collaborative Chinese speaking assessment

Ya Ping (Amy) Hsiao, Kamakshi Rajagopal


It is widely recognized that matchmaking for group formation is one important factor that determines the effectiveness of peer learning. Finding peers with certain peer learning skills and content expertise is likely to induce interaction that contributes to learning performance. However, there has been relatively little attention to how students self-select their peers to work on a collaborative task while this is particularly important for university students who need to form groups by themselves. This study aims to explore (i) how students self-select peers to prepare a collaborative speaking assessment, (ii) how students perceive the peer learning process with self-selected peers, as well as (iii) the differences in students’ perceptions of the assessment interaction and performance between working with self-selected and randomly assigned peers. Results show that students choose peers from classmates whom they have interacted with before. Students are more satisfied with the interaction process and their own language skills with self-selected partners than with randomly assigned peers. The results of this study provide implications for future research to match peers for peer learning.

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