Topping, K. (2009). Peer assessment. Theory Into Practice, 48, 20-27.
The purpose of this article is to explore peer assessment and effective approaches to implementing peer evaluation in the classroom. Topping begins by defining peer assessment and providing a detailed example of peer feedback in a high school English class. Next, the author describes the benefits of peer assessment including more immediate and plentiful feedback as well as cognitive gains for both assessors and assessees. Topping also discusses the effectiveness of peer assessment in writing instruction and how this kind of feedback is particularly helpful for developing students’ writing skills. The author highlights common concerns about implementation of peer assessment (e.g., free riders in the group, student anxiety about the process, etc.), and reviews the literature on the reliability and validity of peer feedback. Topping maintains that good organization is key to effective implementation and concludes by outlining important planning issues for successful peer assessment (e.g., clarify purpose and expectations with all participants, provide training, examples, and practices, examine the quality of peer feedback, etc.).
Formative Assessment, Quality of Assessment Data