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Paul Orsmond Biologist at Staffordshire University The interdependent learner: the role of peer-assessment in student learning. Stephen Merry Arthur Callaghan.

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Presentation on theme: "Paul Orsmond Biologist at Staffordshire University The interdependent learner: the role of peer-assessment in student learning. Stephen Merry Arthur Callaghan."— Presentation transcript:

1 Paul Orsmond Biologist at Staffordshire University The interdependent learner: the role of peer-assessment in student learning. Stephen Merry Arthur Callaghan

2 Our Questions Workshop questions –What do students learn about judging quality from composing peer feedback? –How does peer assessment facilitate the development of assessment literacy? –What is the purpose of peer assessment; a way of clarifying tutor values or a way of eliciting student values? –To what extent is there room for negotiation between tutors and students (and student peers) over how, and on what, judgements are made? What learning are tutors encouraging with peer- assessment?

3 Learning

4 Assessment and Learning If you want to change student learning then change the methods of assessment (Brown et al., 1997)……………….Not sure. Perhaps…….If you want to change student learning then make them more aware of what learning is and how they learn.

5 Assessment and Learning Assessment –Of learning –For learning AfL –As learning – Earl (2003) Learning and assessment take place simultaneously Gipps (1994) students ought to be exposed to ‘sustained experiences in ways of questioning and improving the quality of their work’

6 How is Learning Understood by Tutors How do tutors understand learning – this influences the type of assessment/module design If learning is seen in terms of transmission of knowledge, cognitive, incremental, and knowledge leads to expertise then a social learning activity, which is what peer- assessment is, may be seen as less important in curriculum/module design

7 How is Learning Understood by Tutors If learning is seen in a social-culture or situated fashion then –‘complex process in which learners bring their own perspective on what they believe and simultaneously share responsibility with others to construct knowledge’ Baxter Magolda and King (2004) Yes but who is going to tell them what they need to know? – A question for later?

8 Situated Learning ‘Situated' does not mean that learning 'needs' to be located in a particular location; instead, situated refers to the webs of social relationships which influence how we attend to, value and interpret communications (e.g. feedback) that we get.

9 Challenges from Social Learning Learning occurs through students participating in practice More daringly ‘what is learnt is not the property of an individual, but is distributed within the social group’ (James, 2008).

10 Situated Learning I mean we’ve only been together two years, but we’ve sort of learnt how each one operates….If they’re doing the same course as you and they don’t understand a word you’re going on about, then you know you’re totally off course…….They may criticise (you), but somebody else might have a greater understanding (of the subject) and you know that they’ve got a greater understanding and so you know that you’ve got to sort of balance (their view and yours).’

11 Social Learning and High Achieving Students ‘Once I had a problem [regarding feedback] with my dissertation supervisor. I thought I’d done things wrong…but I spoke to other people who were also his project students…and had the same problem...It wasn't a case that we were doing something wrong...it was more the feedback he was giving wasn't relevant to what we were trying to say' Communities of learning practice – cognitive conflict generates learning as does negotiation

12 Benefits from a Social Learning Perspective Engages students in active participation in their own learning Enriches the learning experiences creates a more active environment Encourages questions, discussions and debate Develops skills which benefit students in their working lives Definition of Peer-Assessment (Hunter, 1999). Nothing on marking, all about the learning process

13 Peer-Assessment ‘An arrangement for peers to consider the level, value, worth, quality or successfulness of the products or outcomes of learning of others of similar status’ Topping et al. (2000).

14 Learning Outside the Formal Curriculum Peer-assessment is being implemented outside the formal curriculum – independent of the tutors by interdependent learners. Not an ‘add on’ dimension of the curricular learning - separate alignment Students create ‘niches’ in collaboration with peers (Havnes, 2008) Tutors can not control this community practice – but they can enrich it. Curriculum peer- assessment is a way of doing that

15 Our Questions Workshop questions –What do students learn about judging quality from composing peer feedback? –How does peer assessment facilitate the development of assessment literacy? –What is the purpose of peer assessment; a way of clarifying tutor values or a way of eliciting student values? –To what extent is there room for negotiation between tutors and students over how, and on what, judgements are made? Negotiation between students

16 Peer-assessment and Feedback

17 Feedback Hattie and Timperley (2007, 81) defined feedback as ‘information provided by an agent (teacher, peer, parent, self, experience) regarding aspects of one’s performance or understanding. Feedback thus is a ‘consequence’ of performance’.

18 Feedback McMahon (2010) reported on an experiment using peer-assessment and negotiated learning Peer interaction leads to judgement making as reported here

19 Feedback Student comment: –‘Peer-assessment has been the comparison between the group’s perception and interpretation of the module outcomes...within this context, discussions and disagreements over interpretations have occurred and been resolved’

20 Feedback Cartney (2010) considered how the gap between giving and receiving feedback can be closed. This quote illustrates the link between self- and peer-assessment –‘It wasn’t just about giving feedback to other people it was also whilst I was giving I was questioning my own work and learning from other peoples style’

21 Feedback Van den Berg found that –Written feedback was mainly formed of evaluation comments whereas oral feedback was mainly related to the revision of text Feedback between peers allows: –Common language to be use –Known context –Diversity from different past experiences –Diversity from their current experiences

22 Feedback Much current writing on feedback –Nicol, D. (2010) From monologue to dialogue –Carless, D., Salter, D., Yang, M and Lam, J. (2011) Tutor models for giving feedback that: –Encourage dialogue –Self-assessment –Active engagement

23 Tutor Feedback Models Such models may be problematic for three reasons: –a) they may be interpreted by tutors as sufficient in themselves for students to effectively use feedback; –b) they are by their nature tutor-centred and hence may further alienate students from the assessment and feedback processes; –c) they are dependent on learning environments in which students are already actively engaged in a number of processes as a means of understanding their own learning involving dialogue and self- assessment.

24 Our Questions What do students learn about judging quality from composing peer feedback? Self- assessment process How does peer assessment facilitate the development of assessment literacy? What is the purpose of peer assessment; a way of clarifying tutor values or a way of eliciting student values? To what extent is there room for negotiation between tutors and students over how, and on what, judgements are made? Negotiation between peers

25 Peer-assessment and Assessment Literacy

26 Communities of Practice Tutors and students belong to different communities of practice –Use a different language –Make sense of things differently Marking criteria is difficult –Translation of the criterion difficult between staff –Different experiences

27 Peer-assessment and Assessment Literacy Most students have experienced tutor marking Students may naturally use norm referencing ‘…well we have had a year and a half of being marked by tutors, we should have a fair idea…..not the fine intricacies, but we should have a broad idea what’s good and what’s bad’.

28 Peer-assessment and Assessment Literacy ‘It’s difficult…Somebody else’s work, you get ideas from that piece of work. You think “I never thought of doing that” or….so when you mark someone else’s work, you may not have taken them other ideas into consideration…Collectively though, as a peer assessment or as a group then you start to see some general patterns.

29 Peer-assessment and Assessment Literacy Increasing evidence that students do not see aspects of assessment literacy in the same way as tutors do Students may not often talk about marking criteria to their peers – but they do work with criteria mentally and will talk to tutors about criteria Tutors and students may have different assessment literacy

30 Peer-assessment and Assessment Literacy Change can be brought about –Previous experience of prior peer-assessment allowed students to take ‘a further step initiating the allocations of different weighting to each criterion showing those students were taking even more responsibility, further developing a students sense of ownership ’ Sivan (2000)

31 Peer-assessment and Assessment Literacy Change can be brought about –Designing assignment tasks or modules so that students can begin to represent their own professional identify Providing a framework to work through assignments for example the GOALS process

32 The GOALS Process – Self- assessment in practice The GOALS process is student focused and considers learning from a student perspective in the now: –G = what outcomes do I need to Grasp. –O = how can I Orientate to ‘self’ –A = what Actions do I need to take to achieve my outcomes. The GOALS process also considers learning for the future. – L = what type of Learning evaluation do I need to make. – S = what Strategies do I need to develop in order to successfully move on. The GOALS process requires students to ask specific questions at each stage of the assignment Tutor and peer feedback can utilise the GOALS framework

33 Our Questions What do students learn about judging quality from composing peer feedback? How does peer assessment facilitate the development of assessment literacy? What is the purpose of peer assessment; a way of clarifying tutor values or a way of eliciting student values? To what extent is there room for negotiation between tutors and students over how, and on what, judgements are made?

34 Summary Tutors should work with normal student practice. Enrich naturally occurring peer- assessment activities Recognise that communities of practice see things differently and have different influences Learning is a social process, we see it around us every day so harness that learning ability in assignment design


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