Resource 3: Peer Assessment

Teacher resource to support teaching approaches

Peer assessment

Students can learn a great deal by looking at and assessing each other’s work. It can help them to evaluate their own work more objectively and it can help them to understand the assessment criteria. Taking part in peer assessment can also help students to be more involved in the assessment process and take more responsibility for their own learning.

It is important that students understand how to evaluate and they need to take it seriously.

In order to get some of the benefits of peer assessment, you need to teach your students how to do it:

  • They need some basic ground rules.
  • They need very clear criteria against which to make the assessments.

Ground rules

When commenting on other people’s work they should start with at least two positive comments:

‘I like the way you did…’

‘That is a really good idea…’

‘You have made it very clear…’

The first few times you try this with a class, it is best to limit them to making positive comments or suggestions (‘it would be really good if you had coloured in that part as well…’)

Any criticisms should be worded in terms of things that could be improved or developed, rather than a negative point.

‘I liked the way you …, it would be even better if…’

‘That was a good decision, but perhaps you could have done … as well’

Clear criteria

Your students will need very clear guidelines about what they are looking for. These can be in the form of questions. For the poster in Case study 2 a set of suitable questions would be:

  • Does the drawing/picture make it clear what type of animal it is?
  • How many adaptations have been identified?
  • Are the reasons for the adaptations clearly explained?
  • Did you learn something from this poster?
  • Is the work clear and well-presented?

When your students have had the chance to look at other students’ work, they should have the opportunity to look at their own again and make some changes if they wish. This process will make them more aware of the assessment process and more critical of their own work.

Resource 2: Example of a mind map

Resource 4: Questioning