Peer assessments are a valuable tool to use with student groupwork to encourage students to reflect on and critically evaluate not just their own learning and skill development, but those of their team members as well in preparation for their professional careers. 

1. Introduction

Group work opportunities are considered to be a critical part of any effective teaching program, but group work is not without issues as any student or teacher could testify. Issues that may arise include: 

  • poor communication
  • social loafing
  • differences in skill level of team members
  • inconsistent levels of motivation and aspiration
  • team members who prefer not to collaborate with others 
  • conflict to do with the task and between group members.  

Peer assessments can help learners to develop their group working skills by teaching them what is important about working in a team, their responsibilities as a team member, and how they can best contribute to the team. In concert with this, peer assessment will help your students to reflect on how their collaborative practice has contributed to the group’s outcome.

Phil Race has defined other compelling reasons to use peer assessment:

  • students will get the chance to find out more about assessment culture
  • lecturers have less time to assess and provide feedback than before
  • assessing is one of the deepest learning experiences
  • students can learn from the strengths and successes of others
  • students can learn from other's mistakes.

Race, P. (2020). The Lecturer's Toolkit. p118