Peer Assessment: Learning by Judging and Discussing the Work of Other Learners

Keith Topping (Lead / Corresponding author)

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    Peer assessment can be defined as “an arrangement for learners to consider and specify the level, value, or quality of a product or performance of other equal-status learners, then learn further by giving elaborated feedback and discussing their judgements with peers to achieve a negotiated agreed outcome.” It is organized in elementary (primary) and high (secondary) school classrooms and universities and colleges, but also in practitioner staffrooms and among teachers in training. There are many kinds of peer assessment, and factors in its variations are outlined. The evidence on the effectiveness of peer assessment is then reviewed. Four databases (ERIC, Science Direct, Scopus, and ZETOC) were searched using the terms "peer assessment" and school* or university* or college. Some 230 papers of various quality were retrieved initially. For college/university, only reviews were reported here. Finally 43 papers of higher quality were selected as highly relevant. These mainly found that peer assessment was effective; only two finding otherwise. Some studies reported gains in meta-cognition and transferable skills in addition. Teachers in all sectors might consider or develop the use of the elaborated feedback form of peer assessment. Practical guidelines to aid this are given.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number7
    Pages (from-to)1-17
    Number of pages17
    JournalInterdisciplinary Education and Psychology
    Issue number1
    Early online date18 Oct 2017
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


    • Peer assessment
    • Discussion
    • Elaborated feedback
    • Elementary
    • High school
    • University
    • College


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