Diversity in assessment

Self and peer assessment

"At the one extreme [students] may be ticking items on a pre-prepared protocol, or, at the other extreme – and far more valuably, they may be developing assessment criteria as well as marking. In terms of the significance of the marking, their assessment, to a greater or lesser extent, may be monitored and potentially over-ruled by tutor marking and self or peer marked material may be the whole or a small proportion of a marked piece of work."

Moon, J. (2001), Peer and self assessment - an overview and examples of practice. University of Exeter.

Self and peer assessment can be enormously beneficial to the learning process and has been shown to significantly improve students' achievement in summative work. For students, this may involve one, or a combination of:

  • marking a piece of their own or others' work and discussing it with peers
  • completing Self Assessment Forms when assignments are handed in
  • developing their own assessment criteria and marking work based on those criteria

Clear guidance on how assessment criteria work, and how to apply them, is an essential part of preparing students for self and peer assessment, as is a well managed, preliminary discussion of the factors involved in making effective judgements on each other's work. Given the 'setting up' required, a consistent approach to self and peer assessment across a programme is more desirable than one-off experiences, although even these can transform students' understanding of what is expected and why.

Case studies of practice

Policy Guidance