Implementation and outcomes of online self and peer assessment on group based honours research projects

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 2014, 39 (1), pp. 21 - 37
Issue Date:
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Honours research projects in the School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering at the University of Adelaide are run with small groups of students working with an academic supervisor in a chosen area for one year. The research project is mainly self-directed study, which makes it very difficult to fairly assess the contribution of individual students to a group-based research project. Until recently, a paper-based method of self and peer assessment (SPA) for the honours research projects was used to assess the projects. This was unsatisfactory for both students and academic staff, who found that the same mark was often awarded by the peers to each student without feedback. In 2010, therefore, an online SPA tool, SPARK, together with a set of newly developed assessment criteria, were used for SPA by the honours students. The new SPA criteria are based on teamwork and research skills, and the new rating scales reflect standard academic grades. Surveys of the students confirmed that they found the criteria and scales much more suitable for the assessment of group work and design projects. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
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