Effects of anonymity on online peer review in second-language writing

Anne Hester van den Bos, Esther Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the effect of anonymity in online peer review on feedback types (directive, non-directive, higher-order concern, lower-order concern) and students' revisions (processed, partly processed and not processed) in second-language writing. Participants were 114 Dutch second-year university students. They were assigned to two experimental conditions: anonymous and non-anonymous. Results showed that students in the anonymous condition provided significantly more feedback on higher-order concerns and offered significantly different types of feedback than students in the non-anonymous condition. As for revision, overall findings showed that assessees in the anonymous condition did not process more feedback (i.e., the adoption rate) than their non-identified peers, however, assessees in the anonymous condition processed significantly more directive higher-order feedback and scored significantly higher final grades for the writing module than their non-anonymous peers. These results might imply that anonymity could enable learners to provide unreservedly more higher-order concerns feedback type. On the self-same note, the adoption and revision of these higher-order feedback items was instrumental in the improved writing performance of students in the anonymous condition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103638
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalComputers and Education
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • (Non) directive peer feedback
  • Anonymity
  • Higher- and lower-order feedback
  • Online peer review
  • Second-language writing

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