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Peer assessment

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Peer Assessment Peer Assessment Peer assessment is an assessment done by on works of other In this kind of assessment, summative grading is conducted to offer results while formative review is conducted to offer feedback on what the students have learned. Peer assessment is quite important as it encourages critical thinking and innovation among students, thus, it aims to enhance the quality of learning and encourages learners (Brown & Knight, 1994). It includes student’s involvement in the prior setting of goals or criteria, final grading, and judgment, and the choice of evidence of academic success. Student assessment of work of other student, especially formative, has a positive influence to the learning capability of the student assessee and the assessor. Peer assessment is significant to learning because it encourages and enhances student reasoning capacity and independence. The weakness of this form of assessment can be avoided with teacher moderation. Peer assessment is a form of peer teaching which in turn leads to development of evaluation and assessment skills. It positively influences student-learning experience via provision of instant feedback (Rowtree, 1977). Peer assessment is conducted because it produces viable feedback and has probable merits in student achievement. For instance, peer assessment can assist self-assessment in the sense that students have the chance to judge their academic works; students attain insight into their own individual performance after getting feedback from their friends. In addition, peer- assessment assists students to develop rational judgment, which is a vital skill for professional life and study (Moon, 2002). A good example of formative peer assessment is the study conducted among bachelors students perusing computer science. Twenty students created web application on a topic that self-interest for 30% of the final grade marks. Each student was required to present his or her individual application on their respective web space, from which six students assessors offered a formative assessment as text analysis and percentage marks awarded against other students criteria (Biggs, 1999). Anonymity of the author was impossible since the web applications incorporated their login names but the student assessors were anonymous because code numbers were utilized to assess. After attaining anonymous assessment and reviews of their work, students were given time to enhance it, and final work was presented on web spaces on a strict deadline. The same assessor, giving the marks directly to the teacher for moderation purposes, conducted Summative of the same web addresses. The teacher went through and remarked all the work. Ten students returned the anonymous assessments and evaluations. For most of these students, formative assessment has been useful to them. Further, they valued text feedback than marks. Some students argued that by viewing other students work, they felt it was more valuable. The main challenge with summative assessment was that some students failed to sit for final examination but it was useful for the formative assessment, as they were able to improve on their weak areas. Feedback is very essential in peer assessment because comprehensive, quality, and timely feedback is very influential in encouraging student learning. In order to enhance opportunities for good feedback, it is significant to ensure that the assessment offers feedback to students on their work progress toward the attainment of learning objectives and outcomes. Feedback will offer students with an opportunity to recognize what they have achieved and how they have been performing (Race, 2002). Further, it will ensure that students have a chance to enhance or improve weak areas as well as justify their final marks of summative assessment. In order to provide opportunity for students, feedback should be timely since if it is provided when summative assessment is near, it will not help the students because the work is already done and they have moved to the next task. There are possible challenges in peer assessment process. For instance, difficulties arise with the reliability and validity of peer assessment. In case of peer review, some students feel that feedback from their fellow student is not valuables and accurate. This is somehow hard to improve because the student’s judgment is hard to change since it depends on many variables affecting learning of students in that particular field. Further, there is a big challenge in the formative assessment offering grades, and less agreement on its value (Biggs, 1999). This is attributed to the doubt in the accuracy of a student since some students have the tendency to under-mark the work of their fellow students. Further, in peer assessment there is the need to recognition of the emotional element such as negative sentiments and feelings that does not concern learning in assessing works of the peers. This kind of assessment, it is faced with the issue of valuable and accurate judgments since there is collusion in giving marks or grades without appropriate reason (Dunlap & Grabinger, 2003). Peer assessment can be problematic because some students may be resistant to it because they feel that they lack past experience to review and assess work of their fellow students, some of them have no self-confidence and are not in a position to make significant judgments on the work of their peers, thus giving inaccurate feedback. The feedback in peer assessment may be compromised in the sense that students may want to settle old problems with their friends and award them low marks, and negative judgment. In addition, via friendship and loyalty, students award higher grades or marks to their friends than warranted (McKeachie, 2007). In order to have a successful peer assessment, each criteria, case, and evidence must be considered. This is because the objectivity and clarity of peer assessment criteria will decide the success of the assessment process. The tutor or teacher should prepare the teacher well for the exercise to assist overcome potential challenges. It is also significant to incorporate students in offering feedback as a secure introduction to peer assessment practice. The tutor should also make sure that students are given enough time to perform this process since they have no immense experience in such a task. References Brown, S., & Knight, P. (1994). Assessing learners in higher education. London: Kogan. Biggs, J. (1999). Teaching for quality learning at University. Buckingham: SHRE and Open University Press. Dunlap, J. C., & Grabinger, S. (2003). Preparing students for lifelong learning: A review of instructional methodologies. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 16 (2), 6-25. Moon, J. (2002). The module and program development handbook: A practical guide to linking levels, learning outcomes and assessment. London: Kogan. McKeachie, W. (2007). Peer review of teaching: A sourcebook. New York, NY: Jossey-Bass. Race, P. (2002). The lecturers’ toolkit. London: Kogan. Rowtree, D. (1977). Assessing students: How shall we know them? London: Harper and Row.

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