Effects of online peer assessment on higher-order thinking: A meta-analysis

Ying ZHAN, Zi YAN, Zhihong WAN, Xiang WANG, Ye ZENG, Min YANG, Lan YANG

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Online peer assessment (OPA) has been increasingly adopted to develop students' higher-order thinking (HOT). However, there has not been a synthesis of research findings on its effects. To fill this gap, 17 papers (published from 2000 to 2022) that reported either a comparison between a group using OPA (n = 7; k = 22) and a control group or a pre–post comparison (n = 10; k = 17) were reviewed in this meta-analysis. The overall effect of OPA on HOT was significant (g = 0.76). Furthermore, OPA exerted more significant effects on convergent HOT (eg, critical thinking, reasoning and reflective thinking; g = 0.97) than on divergent HOT (eg, creativity and problem-solving; g = 0.38). Reciprocal roles and anonymity were found to positively moderate the impacts of OPA on HOT, although their moderating effects were not statistically significant because of small sample size of studies in the analysis. The results of the meta-analysis reinforce the arguments for regarding OPA as a powerful learning tool to facilitate students' HOT development and reveal important factors that should be considered when adopting OPA to enhance students' HOT. Copyright © 2023 The Authors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817-835
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Technology
Issue number4
Early online date22 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


Zhan, Y., Yan, Z., Wan, Z. H., Wang, X., Zeng, Y., Yang, M., & Yang, L. (2023). Effects of online peer assessment on higher-order thinking: A meta-analysis. British Journal of Educational Technology, 54(4), 817-835. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.13310


  • Convergent thinking
  • Divergent thinking
  • Higher-order thinking
  • Meta-analysis
  • Online peer assessment


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