I decided to survey my comparative politics class on their opinions about Perusall after the first exam. Of a total of thirteen students, only eight were in class on the day of the survey, so the results are in no way statistically representative. But here they are anyway. Each survey item was on a five-point scale, with 1 equal to “strongly disagree” and 5 as “strongly agree.”
|Reading other people’s annotations helps me understand assigned readings.||4.1|
|The university should continue to offer Perusall as an option for undergraduate courses.||3.2|
|I find Perusall difficult to use.||2.4|
|I’m more likely to read assigned journal articles that are on Perusall.||3.3|
|Perusall helped me complete reading responses.||3.6|
|Perusall helped me study for the exam.||3.4|
No obvious warning signs in the results. And my main objective in using Perusall — to increase students’ understanding of assigned readings — was the statement with which they most strongly agreed.
The class has scored on average 80% on Perusall assignments so far. In my opinion, this is a sign that Perusall’s assessment algorithm fairly evaluates the quality of students’ interaction with assigned readings. Since the marking process involves no effort on my part, it’s win-win situation. I’m now thinking of how I can incorporate Perusall into other courses.
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