Peer Assessment is where students assess the work of other students. This is often undertaken in conjunction with self-assessment and reflection.
Peer assessment often results in feedback from a range of other students as well as requiring students to actively provide feedback on others work.
- can enhance students’ engagement with their studies
- promotes social learning
- provision of formative feedback
- develop the capacity to critically evaluate their own and others work and to reconcile conflicting feedback messages
- augment students’ disciplinary understanding as providing peer feedback invariably requires explanation and justification
- the process of reviewing the work of others helps students understand what is considered good work and why, thereby increasing their ability to achieve
- promote and provide evidence of the development of generic skills and attributes including: working cooperatively; thinking critically; giving constructive feedback; learning from critical appraisal received from others; managing one’s own learning autonomously; developing interpersonal skills; and developing an awareness of group dynamics
- the peer assessment process needs careful preparation to ensure it does not undermine the spirit of collaboration fostered by group work, by setting individuals up in competition with each other for marks
- if the task does not contribute towards summative grades, students may undervalue its significance for their learning and avoid seriously engaging with the process
- if the task does count toward summative grades, it can raise social tensions and issues of loyalty. Students can be reluctant to criticise their peers; recipients may not consider peer feedback to be sufficiently objective
- many students don’t believe they have the expertise necessary to give feedback on the work of their peers. Or they may feel that the “expert” opinion of the tutor is more valuable that the opinion of a peer
- may provide opportunities for plagiarism
Nicol, D. (2011). Developing the Students’ Ability to Construct Feedback. Gloucester: Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. Retrieved from http://www.enhancementthemes.ac.uk/docs/publications/developing-students-ability-to-construct-feedback.pdf?sfvrsn=30.