students comment on and judge their colleagues work
Advantages Helps students to become more autonomous, responsible, & involved Encourages students to analyze critically work done by others, rather than simply seeing a mark Helps clarify assessment criteria Gives students a wider range of feedback
Advantages More closely parallels possible career situations where judgment is made by a group Reduces the marking load of the instructor Several groups can be run at once as not all groups require the presence of the instructor
Disadvantages Students may lack the ability to evaluate each other Students may not take it seriously, allowing friendships, entertainment value, etc., to influence their marking Students may not like peer marking because of the possibility of being discriminated against, being misunderstood, etc. Without instructor intervention, students may misinform each other
Research Findings Student ratings of colleagues are both reliable & valid. Orpen  found no difference between lecturer and student ratings of assignments in terms of average ratings, variations in ratings, agreement in ratings, or relationship between ratings.
Research Findings Arnold et al  reported that peer ratings of medical students were internally consistent, unbiased, and valid. Other studies suggest there is variation according to factors such as age of the student [Falchikow, 1986].
Outcomes One of the desirable outcomes of education should be an increased ability in the learner to make independent judgments about their own and others work. Peer- and self-assessment exercises are seen as a means by which these general skills can be developed & practiced.
Value A peer rating format can encourage a greater sense of involvement & responsibility, establish a clearer framework & promote excellence, direct attention to skills and learning, and provide increased feedback [Weaver & Cotrell, 1986].
Value of Feedback Feedback helps students to improve and prevents them from making the same mistakes again. Feedback for these purposes needs to come early in the course.
Value Keeping the students focusing on improvement rather than judgment alone is crucial for personal development. Students need constructive feedback to help them assess and then build on their own strengths. They need to identify ways of addressing weaknesses and plan appropriate action. The key benefit of peer assessment is the opportunity it provides for students to provide each other with multiple perspectives and lateral constructive suggestions.
High Quality Feedback For students, high quality feedback consists of the following three things: Clear criteria against which to judge the comments. Comments that are detailed and related to specific aspects of their work. Comments that are improvement focused.
Value of Peer-Assessment giving a sense of ownership of the assessment process, improving motivation encouraging students to take responsibility for their own learning, developing them as autonomous learners treating assessment as part of learning, so that mistakes are opportunities rather than failures
Value of Peer-Assessment practising the transferable skills needed for life-long learning, especially evaluation skills using external evaluation to provide a model for internal self-assessment of a student's own learning (metacognition), and encouraging deep rather than surface learning.
Value Student assessment of other students' work, both formative and summative, has many potential benefits to learning for the assessor and the assessed. It encourages student autonomy and higher order thinking skills. Its weaknesses can be avoided with anonymity, multiple assessors, and tutor moderation. With large numbers of students the management of peer assessment can be assisted by Internet technology.
Value giving a sense of ownership of the assessment process, improving motivation encouraging students to take responsibility for their own learning, developing them as autonomous learners treating assessment as part of learning, so that mistakes are opportunities rather than failures
Value practising the transferable skills needed for life-long learning, especially evaluation skills using external evaluation to provide a model for internal self-assessment of a student's own learning (metacognition), and encouraging deep rather than surface learning.
Want Assessment Systems that: concentrate on what is learned rather than what is taught, with a student-centred rather than a tutor- centered focus. let students in on the process, by allowing them all know the rules of the game, particularly by the use of transparent, available and meaningful criteria, instead of making them play the "guess what's in teacher's mind" game.
Want Assessment Systems that: are fit for purpose, relating closely to the specified learning outcomes and assessing the right things, not what is easy to assess. promote lifelong learning, by helping students to evaluate their own and their peers achievements realistically, not just encouraging them always to rely on (tutor) evaluation from on high. encourage divergent outcomes rather than convergent ones, so the students have the opportunity to demonstrate their individuality rather than striving towards a single, correct answer.