Peer Assessment

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Introduction
This paper discusses the implementation of peer assessment strategy that I carried out in a primary school in Dar es Salaam during my practicum. It consists of a background, rationale, the implementation process and conclusion. The challenges encountered and their possible solutions on how to overcome them.. Background

Black and William (1998) define assessment as all those activities undertaken by teachers, and students in assessing themselves, which provide information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged. There are two major types of assessment, formative assessment and summative assessment. And thus, Peer assessment is one of the forms of formative assessment.

Besides, Higher Education Academy- UK, (2006) is an alternative form of assessment in which learners are given the opportunity to measure and evaluate each other’s compliments of the specified learning outcomes. It is used to involve students more closely in their learning and its evaluation and enable them to really understand what is required of them. (Phil et al 2006) This is a form of formative assessment which teachers can use in class assignments, tests, presentations, project based work and practical tasks. These tasks can be performed by learners either in pairs, by multiple assessors’ or in groups. It is where learners consider and specify the level, value or quality of a product or performance of other equal status learners (Topping, 2008). This therefore means that learners are able to learn better because they assess their peers work and give appropriate feedback which helps them to improve their own work. It also leads to a number of benefits in terms of the learning process for instance encouraging thinking, increasing learning and increasing students’ confidence

Gardner (2006), students find it easier to make sense of criteria for their work if they examine other student’s work alongside their own. It is uniquely valuable because the interchange is in language that students themselves would naturally use, because they learn by taking roles of teachers and examiners of others (Saddler, 1998) Rationale

Eckstein and Noah (1992) argue that teachers teach to the test therefore leaving out some non-examinable but important skills set out in the curriculum. This is evident because most schools in the developing world concentrate on exams which is summative assessment and because of the backwash of this type of assessment, it impedes rather than promote social justice by locking many young people out of the education system, (Cunningham 1998). This summative assessment limits potential in enhancing teaching and learning which makes learners not to get prompt feedback to help them improve on their performance (Brooks, 2002).

PA saves the teachers’ time because it takes a shorter time to mark and grade assignments using it than when a teacher marks all the books. This gives the teacher ample time to prepare for other lessons. By using PA, the teacher is able to give feedback to the pupils in a littler time than when the teacher uses traditional method of marking. PA was introduced with an intention to encourage students to take responsibility for their learning. It makes them feel valued because their suggestions are put into account. According to Irons (2008) PA encourages dialogue between the teacher and learners themselves as they negotiate the best assessment criteria when making a rubric to evaluate their work. This makes students really understand what is required of them.

Phil Race et al, asserts that students learn deeply when they have a sense of ownership of the agenda and if PA is done using the students design, there tends to be a sense of ownership of the criteria used than when they apply the tutors’ criteria. Furthermore, PA allows students to learn from each other’s successes. In some instances students notice that the work they are assessing is...
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