Assess It! | August 19, 2015

The power of peer assessment

stop-listenPeer assessment, a process whereby students evaluate and give feedback to their peers, not only involves students in the process of assessment. It is also a potential learning strategy, as it encourages students to take responsibility for their learning. Students who take an active role in the learning and assessment processes are more motivated, which deepens students’ engagement with the material

Peer assessment helps students develop assessment skills that can be applied both inside and outside the classroom. It helps students develop skills of communication, self-evaluation, observation, reflection, and critical analysis. It also improves students’ ability to work with others.

Peer assessment is a collaborative practice in which students share the responsibility for the assessment process. The assessment task at hand “cannot be performed successfully unless everyone participates in a successful manner.” Thus, students must trust and depend on one another. This kind of interaction creates a sense of community in the classroom. Even more so, the ability to work cooperatively with others is a skill highly valued by employers.

Before implementing peer assessment in the classroom, you may consider:

  • Explaining the purpose of the activity and the benefits of peer assessment beforehand
  • Acknowledging potential insecurities students may have in sharing their work with their peers
  • Considering anonymous evaluations for more objective feedback
  • Involving students in the development of the assessment criteria
  • Demonstrating the process by analyzing an example as a class


moreWant to learn more about peer assessment? Browse through this list of articles that helped to inspire this post:Andrade, Heidi, Huff, Kristen, & Brooke, Georgia. (2012) Assessing Learning: The Students at the Center Series.Cornell University Center for Teaching Excellence. (2014) Peer Assessment.

Lai, Chiu-Lin and Hwang, Gwo-Jen. (2015) An interactive peer-assessment criteria development approach to improving students’ art design performance using handheld devices.

van Gennip, Nanine A.E, Segers, Mien S. R, & Tillema, Harm H. (2009) Peer assessment for learning from a social perspective: The influence of interpersonal variables and structural features.

Image credits:

More (cropped) by FontFont. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Stop by rick. Used under a Creative Commons license.



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