The Role Of Peer Assessment On The Classroom

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The role of peer-assessment in the classroom

As I have been investigating the role of peer-assessment in writing I have reviewed the literature concerning the implementation of these methods in the classroom.

Falchikov & Goldfinch (2000, p. 287) give a definition of peer and self-assessment as;

‘In both of these activities, students are engaging with criteria and standards, and applying them to make judgements. In self assessment, students judge their own work, while in peer assessment they judge the work of their peers.’

A deeper definition comes from Black & Wiliam (2001, p.2);

“An assessment activity can help learning if it provides information to be used as feedback, by teachers, and by their [students] in assessing themselves
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Sadler (1989, p.83) merits the process of peer-assessing in stating that it is valuable as the ‘interchange will be in language that they naturally use’ - therefore meaning is constructed in a different way.

Peer and self- assessment is a type of formative assessment for learning as oppose to a summative form – it is concerned with how to take information about the students learning process and subsequently use the data collected to optimize learning. Researchers have been keen to investigate whether formative assessment can have measurable positive impact on learning (Black, Harrison, and Lee 2003; Black and William 1998).

Kollar and Fischer (2010, p 305)

Black & William (1998) have been researching formative assessment since 1996. Their large-scale review found that formative reform raises standards in schools lending it to be used to inform the Key Stage 3 Strategy, as well as the Primary National Strategy. In 1998 they conducted a four-year study ‘Inside the Black Box-Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment’ a meta-analysis in which they investigated worldwide for effective classroom based research. They identified 700 studies, but were judicious in choosing only those with large effect sizes and reliable design. The study measured learning gains by comparing (a) the average improvements in pupils ' scores on tests with (b) the range of scores that are found for typical groups of pupils on these
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