Peer Assessment Strategies
There are benefits to having peers review and provide feedback about each other’s work. There are a few different possibilities with these strategies so lets take a look. These ideas are drawn from both high school and college classes. The individual ideas can definitely be used on multiple levels though. These ideas have inherent ties to 21st Century Skills and ISTE Standards because of their collaborative qualities.
In my high school classes, I have students engage in peer editing or evaluate each other’s presentations. One place where I have students review each other’s work is in my AP Psychology classes. The AP Psychology exam includes two essays. One time in each course, I have student’s evaluate each others’ essays. I create a Google Form for them to complete. The Form includes a description for each point value and requires the reader to provide evidence for what they are scoring. I do this because many of the students know the answers, but they do not completely answer it on paper. This exercise helps them see the assignment from a scorer’s perspective. Students can complete the form and send the results to the writer.
On the college level, I often have students provide feedback on each other’s demonstration lessons in my methods class. After each lesson, the presenter posts their lesson plan and supporting materials to the class discussion forum. We use Blackboard through the university, but any discussion forum could work. Each student in the class provides brief feedback with evidence. I say brief because having to write for every presenter or read comments from every class member can get tedious. The required evidence is so the feedback is meaningful. Just saying “good job” or “you need to improve” gives the presenter nothing to go on. Instead, they need to say something that they liked or didn’t like and explain the reason for their opinions. Students can also offer possible alternatives for the lesson they observed. This is a good idea because by this time in the education program, many of the graduate students have encountered resources or ideas that are new to me.
Going back to the use of Google Forms, students can also evaluate each other when working in groups. This is good for getting student feedback for how things went in a group. We have all had a poor group work experience where some students have to pick up the slack for an apathetic group member. This form allows students to convey this information to the teacher. Depending on the feedback, there are times when a teacher might want to keep the results of these forms private.
When doing group work where equity of work can be an issue, it might be wise to have groups submit a Learning Team Charter at the beginning of the project to get students actively thinking about who they are working with and what they expect from each other.
So, here are three of the many ways to allow students to provide feedback to each other about their work. What do you do in this area? Let us know in the comments. My wife and sons recently took an extended trip to Ireland to visit my wife’s family. Follow me on Twitter @JoshuaElliott3 for more tips and ideas.