Changing Student's Perceptions of Self and Peer Assessment

University of Melbourne School of Engineering
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the Research in Engineering Education Symposium 2009, 2009, pp. 1 - 9
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The authors have previously reported the effectiveness of using self and peer assessment to improve learning outcomes by providing opportunities to practise, assess and provide feedback on students learning and development. Despite this work and the research of others, we found a significant number of students perceive self and peer assessment to be an instrument to facilitate fairness, focusing on its free-rider deterrent capacity, rather than providing opportunities for reflection and feedback to complete the learning cycle. We assumed that these perceptions were enforced by the fact that the main use of self and peer assessment was to moderate marks and provide feedback to individuals on their contribution to team tasks. We hypothesised that these perceptions would change if students were provided with opportunities to use self and peer assessment for different purposes. In this paper we report testing this hypothesis by using self and peer assessment multiple times a semester to not only assess team contributions but to assess individual student assignments and in benchmarking exercises. Our aim was to test whether this approach would assist students to gain more benefit from self and peer assessment processes while simultaneously breaking down their narrow focus on fairness.
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