Peer Assessment in the Classroom

Peer assessment is great because it allows for collaboration and connection between students. In order for this type of assessment to be a positive experience in the classroom, it is very important that the classroom environment is very safe and open for all learners. Some students may have some anxieties about showing their peers their work so having the classroom be a space where everyone understands that we are learners and mistakes are welcomed helps to alleviate some of those insecurities. Educators can also help with this by choosing the partners ahead of time for the first bit as students get more comfortable with it.

Like many things it is very important for peer assessment to be explicitly taught to students and practiced often for them to really get a grasp on how to do it effectively. They will need to a good understanding of what language to use when assessing other’s work, reminders to check that their feedback connects to the success criteria and help going over what is supportive feedback and what is not. It is also extremely important for teachers to take ample time out of their schedules to allow for students to revise and edit after they have received their feedback. This revision period is where students are able to take the information they’ve gotten and use it to improve their work.

I have attached a video here that shows some student and teacher perspective on peer assessment and how it has impacted them. This video also offers some guidance around how to offer this to students, this is geared more towards intermediate students. They also touch on the use of “The Ladder of Feedback.”. This seems to offer a great structure for teachers and students who are new to peer assessment and breaks it down in a way that makes it seem easier to try out!

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