Making a Difference: Using peers to assess individual students' contributions to a group project

  • Cheng W
  • Warren M
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Abstract

Overcoming the potential dilemma of awarding the same grade to a group of students for group work assignments, regardless of the contribution made by each group member, is a problem facing teachers who ask their students to work collaboratively together on assessed group tasks. In this paper, we report on the procedures to factor in the contributions of individual group members engaged in an integrated group project using peer assessment procedures. Our findings demonstrate that the method we used resulted in a substantially wider spread of marks being given to individual students. Almost every student was awarded a numerical score which was higher or lower than a simple group project mark would have been. When these numerical scores were converted into the final letter grades, approximately one-third of the students received a grade for the group project that was different from the grade that they would have received if the same grade had been awarded to all group members. Based on these preliminary ® ndings we conclude that peer assessment can be usefully and meaningfully employed to factor individual contributions into the grades awarded to students engaged in collaborative group work.

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Authors

  • Winnie Cheng

  • Martin Warren

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