Ejump/Orientation/What is peer assessment?

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Nancy Falchikov describes peer phenomenon in her book Learning Together: Peer Tutoring in Higher Education See at least the summary of the Introduction at page 5 and peer tutoring will become clearer for you.

In peer assessment, members of a class grade the work of performance of their peers using relevant criteria. Peer assessment may also involve students giving feedback to peers. As with self-assessment, in peer assessment, marks may be awrded by students or negotiated with teachers. Marks may or may not be used for formal grading purposes. For most practitioners, a key aim of peer assessment is to enhance learning. Student involvement in assessment can be peripheral or extensive. It can vary from a single simple decision taken by students, such as determining the submission date of assignments, or ascertaining preferred modes of assessment, to involvement in the entire process. Whre students are involved in all stages of assessment, the first thing that needs to be done is for teachers and learners to agree on the criteria by which work or performance will be judged. Sometimes, these criterias are supplied by the teacher. Very infrequently, students supply their own criteria in the absence of the teacher. Once criteria have been identified, self- or peer assessment may then follow. Nancy Falchikov has been collecting papers on peer assessment for a study which synthesizes results from investigations involving statistical comparisons (Falchikov and Goldfinch, 2000). Quantitative peer assessment studies which compared peer and teacher marks were subjected to meta-analysis, a technique which allows results collected in a wide variety of contexts to be compared. The analysis suggested that peer assessments more closely reseble teacher assessments when students are required to make a global judgements based on clear and explicit criteria, and when students are familiar with, and have some degree of ownership of, the criteria, rather than when grading involves assessing several individual dimensions. Assessment on professional practice appears to be more difficult than assessment of academic products and processes. Peer-teacher similarities were greater in well-designed studies than in poorly designed ones. (Falchikov, N. 2005. Learnin together. Peer tutoring in higher education. Routledge Falmer. Pages 1-2).