Flexible Assessment: Learner voices on peer-assessments

Flexible Assessment: Learner voices on Peer-Assessments

Flexible Assessment is an outcomes-based approach where formative and summative assessments are mixed to measure learning outcomes in ways that allow learner voices on assessment weights, what and how to assess as well as self- and peer-assessments. Flexible assessment usually involves using some or all of the following assessment methods:

  • Learner voices on assessment weights

First: Flexible assessment weights

Second: Open flexible assessment pathway

  • Learner voices on what to assess

  • Learner voices on how to assess learning

  • Learner voices on self-assessment

  • Learner voices on peer-assessment

In this blog, I will be discussing flexible assessment in terms of learner voices through peer-assessments. The blog proceeds in the following order:

  • Requirements of peer-assessments
  • Procedure of peer-assessments
  • Benefits of peer-assessments

 a) Requirements of peer-assessments

  • It blends both formative and summative assessment.

  • It is outcomes-based assessment. Must address specific course LOs.

  • The grade of peer-assessments together should not exceed 5% of the final grade.

  • At least one peer-assessment is conducted against a rubric developed by all students.

  • At least one peer-assessment is conducted against a rubric provided by the instructor.

  • At least one peer-assessment combines both student and instructor rubrics. Student rubric is used first, while instructor rubric second. Finally, the students compare both assessments and modify peer-assessment.

b) Procedure of peer-assessments

  • Each student performs or completes a task.

  • Each student submits her task to the instructor with name on a separate sheet.

  • Instructor submits the anonymized task to two or more colleagues.

  • Peers review the work against a specific rubric (student, instructor or combined).

  • Peers return their reviews to the instructor.

  • Instructor receives and reviews the peer reviews.

  • Instructor gives back anonymized peer reviews alongside feedback to student.

  • Instructor approves or changes the peer assessment.

  • Instructor identifies the best peer reviewer and assigns awards.

c) Benefits of peer-assessments

  • Peers learn how to assess the strengths and weaknesses of others’ work.

  • Peers learn about their own strengths and weaknesses from others.

  • Peers develop learning enhancing strategies.

  • Peers improve their own understanding and subsequent learning.

  • Peers learn how to assess and test better.

  • Peers develop analysis, evaluative and constructive feedback skills.

  • Peers become less defensive and more open to criticism.

  • Peer-assessments blend summative and formative assessment.

  • Peers have internal incentives to conduct and achieve well in peer assessments.

  • It helps students to discover poor performance, study plans and learning strategies without detrimental consequences for their final grade.

  • It allows instructors and program directors to discover poor performance so that they adjust instructional content, delivery and assessment.

  • Test anxiety is not an issue before and while students conduct peer-assessments.

  • When students perform well on peer-assessments, their drive for success increases.

  • When students do not perform well on first peer-assessment, a positive level of anxiety is in place as they still have hope to achieve well on other elements of peer-assessments as well as on the final grade.

  • It allows instructors, program directors and students to assess analytic, evaluative and critical thinking skills, interpersonal skills, and communication skills.