Peer assessment

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Peer assessment, or self-assessment, is a process whereby students or their peers grade assignments or tests based on a teacher’s benchmarks.[1] The practice is employed to save teachers time and improve students' understanding of course materials as well as improve their metacognitive skills. Rubrics are often used in conjunction with Self- and Peer-Assessment.[2]

Advantages of self and peer assessment[edit]

Logistics[edit]

Employing self or peer assessment allows teachers to manage their time more effectively while having students grade each other’s papers results in a more efficient classroom setting.[3]

Saves teachers' time[edit]

Student grade assignments can save teacher’s time[4] because an entire classroom can be graded together in the time that it would take a teacher to grade one paper. Moreover, rather than having a teacher rush through each paper, students are able to take their time to correct them. Students can spend more time on a paper because they only have to grade one and can therefore do a more thorough job.[5]

Faster feedback[edit]

Having students grade papers in class or assess their peers' oral presentations[6] decreases the time taken for students to receive their feedback. Instead of them having to wait for feedback on their work, self- and peer-assessment allow assignments to be graded soon after completion. Students then don't have to wait until they have moved onto new material and the information is no longer fresh in their minds.[7]

Pedagogical[edit]

Teacher's evaluation role makes the students focus more on the grades not seeking feedback.[8] Students can learn from grading the papers [9] or assessing the oral presentations of others.[10] Often, teachers do not go over test answers and give students the chance to learn what they did wrong. Self and peer assessment allow teachers to help students understand the mistakes that they have made. This will improve subsequent work and allow students time to digest information and may lead to better understanding.[11] A study by Sadler and Good found that students who self-graded their tests did better on later tests. The students could see what they had done wrong and were able correct such errors in later assignments. After peer grading, students did not necessarily achieve higher results.[12]

Metacognitive[edit]

Through self- and peer-assessment students are able to see mistakes in their thinking and can correct any problems in future assignments. By grading papers, students are better able to understand the grading process and recognize their own strengths and weakness while learning how to think while completing assignments. Students also learn better strategies for taking tests. By grading assignments, students may learn how to complete assignments more accurately and how to improve their test results.[13]

Professors Lin-Agler, Moore, and Zabrucky conducted an experiment in which they found “that students are able to use their previous experience from preparing for and taking a test to help them build a link between their study time allocation.” [14] Students can not only improve their ability to study for a test after participating in self- and peer- assessment but also enhance their ability to evaluate others through improved metacognitive thinking.[15]

Attitude[edit]

If self- and peer-assessment are implemented, students can come to see tests not as punishments but as useful feedback.[16] Hal Malehorn says that by using peer evaluation, classmates can work together for “common intellectual welfare” and that it can create a “cooperative atmosphere” for students instead of one where students compete for grades.[17]

However, in the Supreme Court Case Owasso Independent School District v. Falvo, the school was sued following victimization of an individual after other students learned that he had received a low test score.[18] Malehorn attempts to show what the idealized version of peer-assessment can do for classroom attitude. In practice, situations where students are victimized can result as seen in the Supreme Court Case.

Teacher grading agreement[edit]

One concern about self- and peer-assessment is that students may give better grades than teachers. Teachers want to reduce grading time but not at the cost of losing accuracy.[19]

Support[edit]

A study by Saddler and Good has shown that there is a high level of agreement between grades assigned by teachers and students as long as students are able to understand the teacher's quality requirements. They also report that teacher grading can be more accurate as a result of using self- and peer-assessment. If teachers look at how students grade themselves, then they have more information available from which to assign a more accurate grade.[20]

Opposition[edit]

However, Saddler and Good warn that there is some disagreement. They suggest that teachers implement systems to moderate grading by students in order to catch unsatisfactory work.[21] Another study reported that grade inflation did occur as students tended to grade themselves higher than a teacher would have. This would suggest that self- and peer-assessment are not an accurate method of grading due to divergent results.[22]

Comparison[edit]

According to the study by Saddler and Good, students who peer grade tend to undergrade and students who are self graded tend to overgrade. However, a large majority of students do get within 5% of the teacher’s grade. Relatively few self graders undergrade and relatively few peer graders tend to overgrade.[23]

Rubrics[edit]

Purpose[edit]

Students need guidelines to follow before they are able to grade more open ended questions. These often come in the form of rubrics, which lay out different objectives and how much each is worth when grading.[24] Rubrics are often used for writing assignments.[25]

Examples of objectives[edit]

1.Expression of ideas

2.Organization of content

3.Originality

4.Subject knowledge

5.Content

6.Curriculum alignment

7.Balance

8.Voice

Group work[edit]

One area in which self- and peer-assessment is being applied is in group projects. Teachers can give projects a final grade but also need to determine what grade each individual in the group deserves. Students can grade their peers and individual grades can be based on these assessments. Nevertheless, there are problems with this grading method as if students grade each other unfairly they can skew the grades.[26]

Over generosity[edit]

Some students may give all of the other students very high grades which will cause their score to be lower compared to the others. This can be addressed by having students grade themselves and thus their generosity will also extend to themselves and raise their grade by the same amount. However, this does not compensate for students who grade themselves too harshly.[27]

Creative accounting[edit]

Some students will award everybody low marks and themselves very high marks in order to bias the data. This can be countered by checking student’s grades and making sure that they are consistent with where in the group their peers graded them.[28]

Individual penalization[edit]

If all of the students go against one student because they feel that the individual did little work, then she or he will receive a very low grade. This is permissible if the student in question really did do very little work, but cases such as this should be monitored closely.[29]

Classroom Participation[edit]

While it is difficult to grade students on participation in a classroom setting because of its subjective nature, one method of grading participation is to use self- and peer-assessment. Professors Ryan, Marshall, Porter, and Jia conducted an experiment to see if using students to grade participation was effective. They found that there was a difference between a teacher’s evaluation of participation and a student’s. However, there was no academic significance, indicating that student’s final grades were not affected by the difference in a teacher’s evaluation and a student’s. They concluded that self- and peer-assessment is an effective way to grade classroom participation.[30]

Legality[edit]

The legality of self- and peer-Assessment was challenged in the Supreme Court Case of Owasso Independent School District v. Falvo. Kristja Falvo sued the school district where her son attended school because it used peer-assessment and he was teased about a low score. The teacher’s right to use self- and peer-assessment was upheld by the court.[31]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Sadler, Philip M., and Eddie Good The Impact of Self- and Peer-Grading on Student Learning p.2
  2. ^ Malehorn, Hal Ten measures better than grading p.323
  3. ^ Sadler, Philip M., and Eddie Good The Impact of Self- and Peer-Grading on Student Learning p.2
  4. ^ Searby, Mike, and Tim Ewers An evaluation of the use of peer assessment in higher education: A case study in the School of Music p.371
  5. ^ Sadler, Philip M., and Eddie Good The Impact of Self- and Peer-Grading on Student Learning p.2
  6. ^ http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/14751/1/Peer_Assessment_of_Oral_Presentations.jpg
  7. ^ Sadler, Philip M., and Eddie Good The Impact of Self- and Peer-Grading on Student Learning p.2
  8. ^ J. Scott Armstrong (2012). "Natural Learning in Higher Education". Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. 
  9. ^ Sadler, Philip M., and Eddie Good The Impact of Self- and Peer-Grading on Student Learning p.2
  10. ^ http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/17294/5/ALDinHEPresentation2013.pdf
  11. ^ Ngar-Fun, Liu, and David Carless Peer feedback: the learning element of peer assessment p.281
  12. ^ Sadler, Philip M., and Eddie Good The Impact of Self- and Peer-Grading on Student Learning p.24
  13. ^ Sadler, Philip M., and Eddie Good The Impact of Self- and Peer-Grading on Student Learning p.2
  14. ^ Lin-Agler, Lin Miao, DeWayne Moore, and Karen M. Zabrucky EFFECTS OF PERSONALITY ON METACOGNITIVE SELF-ASSESSMENTS p.461
  15. ^ Sadler, Philip M., and Eddie Good The Impact of Self- and Peer-Grading on Student Learning p.3
  16. ^ Sadler, Philip M., and Eddie Good The Impact of Self- and Peer-Grading on Student Learning p.3
  17. ^ Malehorn, Hal Ten measures better than grading p.323
  18. ^ Sadler, Philip M., and Eddie Good The Impact of Self- and Peer-Grading on Student Learning p.1
  19. ^ Sadler, Philip M., and Eddie Good The Impact of Self- and Peer-Grading on Student Learning p.16
  20. ^ Sadler, Philip M., and Eddie Good The Impact of Self- and Peer-Grading on Student Learning p.23
  21. ^ Sadler, Philip M., and Eddie Good The Impact of Self- and Peer-Grading on Student Learning p.23
  22. ^ Strong, Brent, Mark Davis, and Val Hawks SELF-GRADING IN LARGE GENERAL EDUCATION CLASSES p.52
  23. ^ Sadler, Philip M., and Eddie Good The Impact of Self- and Peer-Grading on Student Learning p.16
  24. ^ Sadler, Philip M., and Eddie Good The Impact of Self- and Peer-Grading on Student Learning p.3
  25. ^ Andrade, Heidi, and Ying Du Student responses to criteria-referenced self-assessment p.287
  26. ^ Li, Lawrence K. Y. Some Refinements on Peer Assessment of Group Projects p.5
  27. ^ Li, Lawrence K. Y. Some Refinements on Peer Assessment of Group Projects p.8
  28. ^ Li, Lawrence K. Y. Some Refinements on Peer Assessment of Group Projects p.9
  29. ^ Li, Lawrence K. Y. Some Refinements on Peer Assessment of Group Projects p.9
  30. ^ Ryan, Gina J., et al. Peer, professor and self-evaluation of class participation p.56
  31. ^ Sadler, Philip M., and Eddie Good The Impact of Self- and Peer-Grading on Student Learning p.9

References[edit]

  • Andrade, Heidi, and Ying Du "Student responses to criteria-referenced self-assessment." Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 32.2 (2007): 159–181.
  • Gopinath, C. "Alternatives to Instructor Assessment of Class Participation." Journal of Education for Business 75.1 (1999): 10.
  • Li, Lawrence K. Y. "Some Refinements on Peer Assessment of Group Projects." Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 26.1 (2001): 5–18.
  • Lin-Agler, Lin Miao, DeWayne Moore, and Karen M. Zabrucky "EFFECTS OF PERSONALITY ON METACOGNITIVE SELF-ASSESSMENTS." College Student Journal 38.3 (2004): 453–461.
  • Malehorn, Hal "Ten measures better than grading." Clearing House 67.6 (1994): 323.
  • Mok, Magdalena Mo Ching, et al. "Self‐assessment in higher education: experience in using a metacognitive approach in five case studies." Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 31.4 (2006): 415–433.
  • Ngar-Fun, Liu, and David Carless "Peer feedback: the learning element of peer assessment." Teaching in Higher Education 11.3 (2006): 279–290.
  • Ryan, Gina J., et al. "Peer, professor and self-evaluation of class participation." Active Learning in Higher Education 8.1 (2007): 49–61.
  • Sadler, Philip M., and Eddie Good "The Impact of Self- and Peer-Grading on Student Learning." Educational Assessment 11.1 (2006): 1–31.
  • Searby, Mike, and Tim Ewers "An evaluation of the use of peer assessment in higher education: A case study in the School of Music" Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 22.4 (1997): 371.
  • Strong, Brent, Mark Davis, and Val Hawks "SELF-GRADING IN LARGE GENERAL EDUCATION CLASSES." College Teaching 52.2 (2004): 52–57.
  • van den Berg, Ineke, Wilfried Admiraal, and Albert Pilot "Peer assessment in university teaching: evaluating seven course designs." Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 31.1 (2006): 19–36.