Peer assessment at the first year student

Topics: Learning, Assessment, Education Pages: 5 (1467 words) Published: March 29, 2014

Research Assignment 1
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Topic: First year university courses frequently use peer assessment as part of the assessment process. While it is generally seen to have many benefits from an instructor’s point of view, students may find it problematic. Discuss.

This research examines the use of peer assessment (PA) in the first year course as an integral part of the assessment process, because educators claim that this method helps students to achieve higher efficiency in their study. PA is understood as an evaluation in which both assessors and assessees have similar level, evaluating and considering each other to measure the degree of performance success (Topping,1998,p.250).This may assist learners to improve their learning. However, not all students find the benefit, as some of them fail and experience disadvantages with the peer review process. This research will explore the necessity of PA for first year students because of its significant benefits. Furthermore, it also points out positive influences to improve the quality of teaching as well as recommend some suggestions involving the students’ problems.

Several papers strongly argue that peer judgment is necessary for first year students as it has positive aspects. According to Van Den Berg (2006b, as cited in Vickerman, 2009, p.221), the peer evaluation pushes students to be more active in thinking. In a review of peer assessment, Hattum-Janssen (2006) found that engineering students have ability to achieve success with a large class in first year courses. They also noted that this discipline requires a very flexible brainstorming of learners (as cited Nulty, 2011, p.495). Another excellent example is that study of the use peer assessment clinical skill (PACS) in semester one of first year student nurses demonstrated that PA is a valuable tool to help students to develop essential skills and the ability to apply their knowledge to their work. A simulation is conducted with small groups of three students; one plays the role of observer and evaluator, one playing the assesse, and other playing the patient. As a result of the pilot, PACS is well responded by students that they feel more confidence, learn a lot of useful experience, deeply absorb feedback, feel less stress because of being assessed by their friend and integrate themselves into the community (Rush et al., 2012, p.223 -225). Several other studies which are examined on faculties in many forms also show that a majority of the students’ awareness and result of learning is explicitly improved after engaging this way (Topping, 1998, p.259-263). This clearly proves the benefits of PA. Firstly, the learners experience more autonomy and confidence in their performance. Secondly, they are given opportunities to practise collaborative skills and extend their own knowledge that relate to the external evaluation and know how to solve problems. Thirdly, the learners perceive a deep cognition of learning and have a profound knowledge rather than surface. Finally, the learners are enabled to develop critical thinking and encouraged to take responsibility for their work (Cheng & Warren, 1997, p.235-237; Ladyshewsky & Gotjamanos, Orpen, (as cited Rush et al., 2012, p.220); Race, Zariski (as cited Vickerman, 2009, p.222)). Peer assessment, evidently, has some strong points that help learners to overcome their weaknesses. It is entirely useful and necessary for students in the first year courses.

Peer assessment has substantial impacts on teaching as it is a range of reciprocal activities. Students, for example, are required to judge others’ work; this procedure is based on standards and tutors’ instruction. Therefore, in any form, the learner still needs guidance from tutors to keep them on track during time of performance evaluation (Vickerman, 2009, p.222), or in other words, evaluation is a process of...
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