Completing self and peer assessment

Finishing well
Writing together
Presenting together
Completing self-and-peer-assessment
Learning from experience

Group work and assessment

Self and peer assessment helps you to make judgements about how you and others work together collaboratively. This is an important attribute you should have as a graduate to make you a more valuable person in a work environment that use team- and group-based work processes.

As group members you are responsible for negotiating and managing the balance of contributions and then using self and peer assessment whether the balance has been achieved. Peers who have made an excellent contribution, that is over-and-above what the team expected as an average effort for a team member, can be rewarded for doing so. Similarly, those who have perhaps played a smaller role on a particular aspect, or even overall, can have their contribution appropriately reflected as well in an adjusted team mark.

Self Assessment

What is self assessment?
Self assessment involves identifying standards and/or criteria to apply to your work and making judgements about the extent to which you have met these criteria and standards

Self- assessment is more than just grading your own work: it means being involved in processes of determining what is good work.

Self assessment requires students to

  • take responsibility for monitoring and making judgements about their work
  • think critically about what they are learning
  • identify appropriate standards of performance and apply them to their own work
Boud, D. (1995) Implementing Student Self-Assessment, HERDSA Green Guide #5 p1-2

Self-Assessment Criteria
Some students are more skilled at being self-reflective, others need to take opportunities to learn these skills that are essential for effective learning.

Use these criteria link to help you assess your own performance in your group.

You can also apply these criteria to assess your peers' performance (see the following section).

Peer Assessment

Peer assessment involves members of a group making evaluative judgements regarding the performance of the group as a whole, in addition to the performance of individual members of a group.

Peer assessment can be used for both formative and summative purposes. Formative assessment is assessment that occurs during a unit, and summative assessment occurs at the end of a unit.

Formative peer assessment is used:

  • to help students assess their progress on achieving the group task
  • to assess the success of their group's interactions and processes
  • to encourage group members to consider how they might improve group performance and the performance of individual contributions
  • to allow staff to monitor that groups are progressing appropriately and members are making a fair contribution and to guide corrective action if necessary

You could use

  • an informal watchful eye approach if you have groups regularly doing some of their work in-class because it is easier to monitor group performance and member contributions less formally. Informal suggestions for improvements can be made
  • these peer assessment criteria and this peer assessment form to undertake a peer assessment in groups at any time
  • when groupwork is done out of class, take 15 minutes in class so that groups can first reflect on their group performance and then write a one-page group report. The report could ask groups to summarise the best 5 things about their group, the 5 things most in need of improvement and 5 strategies in order of importance that they intend to follow for the remainder of the groupwork task. It is useful to flag to students that giving and receiving feedback is an important skill to learn. Even groups performing well can learn what they can do better
  • An invitation to individuals or groups to make a appointment with you if they perceive that their group is dysfunctional.

Summative peer assessment is used:

  • typically at the end of a group assessment but may also be used during
  • more formally than formative peer assessment in its purist form because it affects marks
  • to either moderate the final group mark allocated to individual group members or as a component of assessment that is in addition to the group mark.

Examples of Faculty peer assessment and peer assessment from elsewhere.

Web-based self and peer assessment

An example under development is SPARK which:

  • enables you to fairly rate contributions across a range of criteria related to team tasks and team process and thus fairly acknowledge individuals' contributions.
  • enables confidentiality for you rate your own and your peers' contributions since it can be done online (and even multiple times if necessary).
  • automates data collection, collation and calculation issues that would otherwise make self and peer assessment too difficult.


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