Abstract: Peer advising, where students receive advice from other students about courses, can be difficult to study due to its private, spontaneous nature or to potential response bias. However, peer advising can help create and strengthen student communities, and the information students provide can help improve course quality. We first present a case study on a student-run course review website developed to support an online graduate program in computer science. We discuss the evolution of the website and examine its usefulness as a student-organized community providing peer advising at scale. In our second study, we develop a coding scheme and use it to analyze reviews from the website. Although students provide mostly evaluative information, they also provide advice, context for their reviews, course descriptions, and feedback for the instructional team. This research explores the importance of student-organized communities in higher education and provides useful insights into peer advising at scale.
The full paper “Advising of the Students, by the Students, for the Students: The Case of a Student-Owned Peer Advising Community” can be found here.