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Flona 0031823 Jan.

9, 2012

Final PaperPeer Assessment Summary:

Peer assessment is an alternative evaluation method, and students evaluate the quality of studies of their classmates and provide feedback to each other with certain criteria (Van den Berg, Admiraal, and Pilot, 2006; Falchikov, 1995). Peer assessment looks like a new form of assessment to many students, but in fact it has been developed for centuries. In recent years, peer assessment has been more popular and attracted attention for lectures, teacher educators and researcher. Why should these experts start to be interested in the peer assessment? Because the numbers of empirical research studies prove that working peer assessment in classrooms is certainly helping to promote learning for peers, decrease teachers heavy working burden on assessing, and even encourage teachers to incorporate it into their practice. Except for these above positive factors, there two researchers indicated more important features of the peer assessment as follow (Zariski 1996; Van den Berg et. al., 2006): -Evaluation is a part of learning. -Students become more autonomous, responsible and participative. -Students not only monitor the studies of others but also make some critical

analysis. -The perspectives of the students are enriched with feedbacks. -During evaluation, students gains empathy. -Students motivation for learning increase. One the other hand, the peer assessment still includes some limitations as follows (Brown, 1998, Magin and Helmore, 2001, Zariski 1996; Van den Berg et. al., 2006): -Students may not have ability and maturity for evaluation. -Students may not take the evaluation seriously. -Students may have a negative attitude towards peer education. -Students may affect each other during evaluation. -Students may consider it as an additional burden. Although these above limitations may influence on results of the peer assessment, the main controversial issue is validity of evaluation. Teachers and students have some doubts about the validity level of evaluation in the peer assessment and students language proficiency. These negative attitudes seem to be an important barrier in using peer assessment. Besides, some research findings on the validity of the peer assessment are mostly effective in higher education.

For these reasons, the five journal articles I picked are focusing on how to

appropriately organize peer assessment in classrooms to promote validity of the peer assessment? Nevertheless, two of the five journal articles, EFL classroom peer assessment: training effects on rating and commenting (2008) and Peer assessment (2009), provide the result that students have accepted quality training for a long time; they may make a great deal of difference in the peer assessment. For example, student assessors comments are more relevant with student assesses performance and share more comments than students who do not accept training assessment or only for a short time training.

Peer assessment is the good method to facilitate educational change, a kind of cooperative learning that is an important thing for students to learn a spirit of teamwork in learning and a good chance for students to express their voice or thoughts; even if the peer assessment still includes some limitations (the part was mentioned in the above). However, providing effective the peer feedback and the ability to make judgments about the relationship of the peers is complex tasks, I think good organization for peer assessment is perhaps the most crucial quality of implementation and leads to be consistent the peer assessment. According to the three researching authors who brought up the eleven tips about the issue in

peer assessment (Topping, 2003; Webb & Farivar, 1994): -Seek to work with colleagues rather than developing the initiative alone. -Clarify purpose, rationale, expectations, and acceptability with all stakeholders. -Involve participants in developing and clarifying assessment criteria. -Match participants and arrange contact. -Provide training, examples, and practice. -Provide guidelines, checklist, or other tangible scaffolding. -Specify activities and timescale. -Monitor and coach. -Examine the quality of peer feedback. -Moderate reliability and validity of feedback. -Evaluate and give feedback. For these above tips, the interesting topic how to organize peer assessment is the quite great procedures for teachers to know how to develop the method and for students to process the activity with guidelines and decrease their heavy pressures in the peer assessment. During the process of the good organization in peer assessment, I think there are two tips which could improve the validity of evaluation: one is providing training, example, and practice, and it is quite important to show students how to do the peer assessment and talk to students about what is expected of them with positive feedback. The other is involve participants in developing and clarifying assessment criteria. Students needs to

be involved in developing the criteria for assessment in order to decrease their anxiety and keep evaluating accuracy; on the other hand, it is involved in another issues as well, that is considering about teacher training in peer assessment. I think it is one of reasons why it is difficult to facilitate the peer assessment in educational fields in Taiwan. By contrast, I do not agree part of content in the one of these tips is evaluation made without giving the assessors names. I think it is better to sign assessors names in evaluation sheet because it is a good chance to clarify their doubts for student assessees and build up friendly relationship between student assessors and assessees. On the other hand, each student assessor is supposed to make responsibility on evaluating their own assesses and to respect for each assessees performance.

In practical research studies have revealed that lectures and students could see important benefits of peer assessment in classrooms such as developing students thinking, promoting a sense of ownership, personal responsibility, motivation and so on. While it has been a crucial issue to integrate the new concept peer assessment with traditional assessment and carry it out in

traditional teaching and learning fields, teachers play important roles in organizing the peer assessment process in classrooms and properly observing students situations or feedback to maximize the learning potential of peer assessment. Generally speaking, both student assessors and student assessees can experience anxiety about the peer assessment initially. Therefore, giving positive encouragement may reduce their anxiety and improve subsequence negative feedback. In addition, students should be told that the peer assessment involves some benefits in their own learning such as using strategies of the peer evaluation as a self-evaluation form, considering mistakes as opportunity for relearning and providing deep-learning from peers opinions or thoughts. On the other hand, teachers can remind students of some advantages such as variety, interest, more interaction and passion in learning in order to decrease their anxiety and build up their confidence when students are immersing in the peer assessment. There are two directions about the peer assessment in my future research, one is how to carry out peer assessment effectively in the lower education? and the other is how to completely develop the peer assessment in traditional educational fields, especially in Taiwan?

How to carry out the peer assessment effectively in the lower education? Research findings on the reliability and validity of the peer assessment mostly emanate from studies in higher education (Falchikov, 2001). That is validity of the peer assessment in higher education is more effective than in the lower education. However, I suggest that the peer assessment should be practiced in lower education at an initial learning period because it is important for students to learn how to considering mistakes to reflect their own strengths and weaknesses, to give and accept criticism, to justify their own position and to reject suggestions which are not all useful by the peer assessment in their learning process.

How to completely develop peer assessment in traditional educational fields, especially in Taiwan? The teaching and learning approaches in Taiwan have been widely criticized as teacher-led and examination-oriented, and required students only to follow teachers teaching steps. I think they are not the suitable methodology in teaching and learning, and these negative facets may cause students to be dependent and passive roles in following learning years, so my purpose is to move away from apparently lower-order learning for exams towards developing students capacity and becoming active learners. Besides, I think

each student has their own learning styles and strategies, so I suggested teachers may use these characteristics in the domain of teaching.


Mok, J. (2010). A case study of students perceptions of peer assessment in Hong Kong. ELT Journal, 65(3). 230 - 239. Hidetoshi, S. (2008). EFL classroom peer assessment: Training effects on rating and commenting, Language Testing, 25(4). 553-576. Sahin, S. (2008). An application of peer assessment in higher education, TOJET, 7(2). 5-10. Toppin, K. J. (2009). Peer Assessment, Theory Into Practice, 48. 20-27. Langan, A. M., & Wheater, C. P., & Shaw, E. M., & Haines, B. J., & Cullen, W. R., & Boyle, J. C., Penney, D., & Oldekop, J. A., & Ashcroft, C., & Lockey, L., & Preziosi, R. F. (2005). Peer assessment of oral presentations: effects of student gender, university affiliation and participation in the development of assessment criteria, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 30(1). 21-34.