Peer Assessment Overview
In peer assessment, a collaborative learning technique, students evaluate their peers’ work and have their work evaluated by peers.
Often used as a learning tool, peer assessment gives students feedback on the quality of their work, often with ideas and strategies for improvement. At the same time, evaluating peers’ work can enhance the evaluators’ own learning and self-confidence. Peer involvement personalizes the learning experience, potentially motivating continued learning.
When used in grading, peer assessment can give the instructor needed information on student performance. Especially for large online classes, it may allow inclusion of assignments where students’ creative work could not be graded reliably through automation or efficiently by teaching staff.
Peer assessment techniques vary considerably, and are often best understood through example. To give effective, valid and reliable feedback to fellow learners, students need clear guidelines, training on assessment criteria and scoring rules, and practice with examples. Before students are ready to give feedback to others, their assessments should be compared to staff-grading of the same examples for quality assurance.