Chemistry, Department of


First Advisor

Alena Moon

Date of this Version

Spring 4-20-2022


Patterson, K. (2022) Designing Experiments: The Impact of Peer Review Structure on Organic Chemistry Students' Experimental Designs [Master's Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln]. Digital Commons.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Chemistry, Under the Supervision of Professor Alena Moon. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2022

Copyright © 2022 Katie E. Patterson


To better understand how peer review can be used to support students when designing experiments, the current thesis examined how the structure of the peer review template affects the kinds of feedback students give and the revisions that they make. I utilized a quasi-experimental design to investigate the effects that the peer review template had on the outcome of an experimental design task. A sample of 195 students enrolled in an Organic Chemistry I course participated in the study. The students were divided into two groups, one of which was given a scaffolded peer review template and the other was given a non-scaffolded peer review template. The students in both groups turned in an initial draft, then peer-reviewed three students while also receiving feedback from three peers, and then turned in a final draft. I categorized students’ feedback and scored their initial and final drafts with rubrics. Afterward, statistical tests were run to determine if there were significant differences in the frequency of feedback students gave and the frequency of revisions students made. Based on the findings, implications for practice and research were offered.

Advisor: Alena Moon