THE INFLUENCE OF LEARNING STYLES ON CHINESE STUDENTS' ATTITUDES TOWARD PEER FEEDBACK: DEVELOPING A SURVEY TOOL FOR PEER FEEDBACK TRAINING
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Peer feedback as a teaching approach in English writing has gained increasing interest in English as a first language (L1), and in the field of English as Second/Foreign language (ESL/EFL). Some studies conducted in L1/ESL/EFL classrooms indicate that peer feedback is effective in English writing classes. Other studies seem to indicate that peer feedback has little impact on learning. In addition, few studies of peer feedback training focus on students' willingness to engage in peer feedback. Research is needed on the potential influential factors on students' willingness to provide peer feedback. Furthermore, peer feedback training studies have been conducted mostly in the United States and Taiwan, where the teaching context varies immensely from the teaching context in China. Since there are more than 1.5 billion people learning English in China; it is a vitally important context to explore. In this dissertation, I argue that the first step to developing the curriculum around peer feedback training is to know learners and their learning styles. I ask whether some learners who gravitate around interpersonal or intrapersonal learning styles are more likely to engage or be open to peer review. This question and several sub-questions have been studied through the development of a survey instrument that can be implemented as part of a needs assessment tool. I show how such a tool, if validated, can be used as part of a peer review training curriculum. To complete this project, a total of about 685 Chinese students from different majors at two universities are invited to participate in the study. This is a first step in a line of research, and I can test the reliability of my survey in later research by sampling many different universities. From a methodological perspective, this dissertation seeks to validate the survey instrument using exploratory factor analysis (EFA), confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), and structural equation modeling (SEM). The findings provide insightful perspectives for teachers to design a specific and useful peer feedback training procedure for their students. In addition, students can get a better understanding of doing peer feedback.