A key concern students have about working collaboratively is that the assessment will not take into account individual contributions. One way to address this is to use peer assessment.
Peer assessment of group work is when each member of a student group is asked to provide an assessment of the other group members in relation to set criteria related to group process. The teacher collates the information for each student and use this to proportion a mark for each group member.
An example of Peer assessment
- The class has 100 students that work in 25 groups of 4 students.
- They have a group task that contributes 40% to their final grade.
- 50% of the group mark is related to the product of group work and 50% is related to group process.
- 25% of the group process mark is gained through peer assessment (equivalent to 5% of final grade)
- In the peer assessment, students are asked to rate (-1, 0, +1, +2 in an online survey using TellUs2) each of their group members in relation to:
- understanding and communication of the core values and vision of the group (Hub and Fibre)
- understanding and communication of the operating agreements, norms and culture of the group (Rim and Fibre)
- ability to plan and communicate this with the group (Spoke and Fibre)
- ability to utilise and communicate group roles and responsibilities (Spoke and Fibre)
- ability to utilise and communicate problem solving skills (Spoke and Fibre)
- ability to utilise and communicate decision making skills (Spoke and Fibre)
- ability to utilise and communicate conflict resolution skills (Spoke and Fibre)
- ability to utilise and communicate reflection processes (Spoke and Fibre)
- responsiveness to change, adaptability and the communication in relation to this (Tyre and Fibre)
- for each student in the group of four the teacher receives three scores that need to be averaged. As this is done using TellUs2, the data is returned in an excel spreadsheet and the formulas for calculating averages are easily applied.
- this averaged peer assessment mark (APA) is then used as the peer assessment mark (APA x 0.05 for final grade; or APA x 0.25 for group process mark)
Once systems for the semi-automation of peer assessment are in place, peer assessment can be done at different stages of the group process so that the group members can receive feedback on how they are performing as individuals in the group.
It may also be worthwhile to include self assessment of the same criteria (and averaging of marks) to minimise bias in this student based assessment.