Peer assessment is generally described as a range of activities focusing on enabling students to evaluate and provide feedback on the work of the people they study with. It allows students to gain more control over their learning and helps develop essential life skills to constructively critique other people’s work as well as improve their own.
The main benefits of peer assessment are increasing critical thinking, encouraging learning through giving feedback, and active engagement in the process. The study shows that using peer assessment promotes learning and enables a teacher to focus on helping students with more significant difficulties or advanced tasks (Double et al., 2019). It could give a basis to constructively communicate feedback and being able to accept the input of others.
One of the main challenges of giving feedback is the varying knowledge level of students. Some people can have a limited understanding of the subject, thus ineffectively marking other students’ work. Among other challenges, there is friendship bias (elevated grades due to personal relationships among students), as well as gender, age, or ethnicity discrimination. Moreover, receiving feedback may be a challenge as well as it involves dealing with ego management and emotions in case of negative comments. Some students may not be able to take criticism, so they get into a disagreement with other students, which may influence the atmosphere in class. The best strategy is to encourage students to justify their assessment with arguments and create well-understood criteria. Additionally, it would be practical to make both assessors and assessed peers anonymous to minimize the chances of bias or judgment and improve the honesty of the evaluation.
Peer assessment helps to focus on the student-centered form of education, which improves metacognitive thinking and enhances the active engagement of people in their learning. It also enables students to look at the work of peers from the teacher’s angle, which creates a collaborative model of both teaching and learning.
Double, K., McGrane, J., & Hopfenbeck, T. (2019). The impact of peer assessment on academic performance: a meta-analysis of control group studies. Educational Psychology Review. Web.