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Online Peer Assessment (Teaching Fellowship)

Lead investigator: Dr Nathan L Clarke
Other researchers: Dr Paul Haskell-Dowland
Project duration: 2008 - 2009
Funding source: PU
Project description: Assessment forms a key component of module and course design. With students’ learning increasingly driven by the assessments, it is imperative to ensure that assessment is aligned with the intended learning outcomes. There are a wide variety of assessment methods, with the use of many being dependent upon the scenario in which the assessment approach needs to be used. One deficiency with the majority of assessment approaches is the lack of critical examination of submitted assignments by the students, with many students simply taking a note of the mark. In addition, the level of feedback provided to the student by the assessor can vary in both content and relevance, with feedback often being short, generic and impersonal. Peer assessment is one method that assists in ensuring the process of assessment does not merely finish at the submission stage, and assists in providing to the student a greater awareness and understanding of the assignment problem. By having students read and mark their peers’ work, students are not only able to gain an appreciation of the level and content others are submitting in relation to their own, but more importantly it will help to fill the gaps in their knowledge and understanding. Even for students who perform very well, it is likely that gaps will still exist in their knowledge which other students may have addressed, and if not, this process will still help in reinforcing what they already know. The purpose of this project is to design a new and pedagogically sound online peer assessment system.