Unit 1: The Benefits of Peer Evaluation


Learning objective:

Mbtarget.pngAt the end of this unit learners will be able to identify benefits of peer evaluation in the classroom by creating a list of at least three pedagogical benefits.


Peer evaluation, the act of giving and receiving feedback among peers has been shown to strengthen academic skills in students such as:

Mbcheck.png language
Mbcheck.png writing ability
Mbcheck.png peer collaboration
Mbcheck.png critical evaluation

With their classmates as a crowd students create and present work to a real-life audience allowing them to receive formative feedback and edit their work prior to final assessment. It has been found that peer review helps to enable students to more accurately assess their own work by exercising skills such as critique and revision and creates more success with self-review in the future. Collaborative efforts like peer evaluation often take students out of their comfort zones and create an increased desire to impress. With an audience in mind this desire can be used for motivation toward improved academic performance and pride in their work. The use of peer evaluation exercises gets students comfortable with giving and receiving constructive criticism by creating a safe learning community.

Mbtip.jpeg Please right-click the links below (and all external links in this mini-course) and select "open in new tab". This is not essential but makes for easier navigation back to this page once the activity is complete!

  • This website from Cornell University breaks down what peer assessment is and motivation for its use. It touches on giving student's responsibility through their own learning as well as a "diffusion and exchange" of idea through peer assessment.
  • This page created for and by teachers does an excellent job of discussing the benefits and limitation of peer evaluation. The definition at the top of the page perfectly sets the stage for it's content in stating that "Peer assessment and the idea of collaborative, team-based and problem-based learning lies at the core of Vygotsky's social constructivist theory". It then explores ideas of motivation and metacognition and discusses how peer evaluation helps students engage in higher-order learning activities. (Viewing the video on the page is optional, yet encouraged)
Mbnext.pngBenefits and Limitations of Peer Assessment
  • While many approaches to peer evaluation allow students to evaluate their peers anonymously, an argument can be made for having your reviewer be aware of your identity. As training for real-life and future work experience, student accountability can bring students out of their comfort zone and get them comfortable with evaluation and assessment by their peers. In the video below Robert Leckey, an associate professor at McGill University explains his rationale for his use of non-anonymous peer assessment and motivation for student accountability.
Mbmovie.pngPeer Evaluation: One-on-one feedback

Learning exercise:

Now that you've gained some new knowledge let's put it to use! Click the link below to access the exercise designed for your use to reflect upon what you know, what you've just learned, and identify any gaps in between.

Mbnext.pngLet's see what you know!Mbbrain.png


Congratulations on completing Unit 1! Now that you're ready to move on to Unit 2 let's look back at this unit's objective to see if you've reached it.

Mbnext.pngObjective: Learners will be able to identify benefits of peer evaluation in the classroom by creating a list of at least 3 pedagogical benefits.
Questions to ask yourself:
  • Can I identify at least 3 benefits of peer evaluation?

If you can answer these questions then you're ready to move on to Unit 2: Creating a Student-Centered Classroom.

If you think you are't quite there yet, head back to the beginning of this unit and review the lesson and learning exercise.


Mbgo.png Click here to continue to Unit 2: Creating a Student-Centered Classroom

Mbgo.png Click here to return to the Peer Evaluation course homepage

Mbgo.png Jump to Unit 3 - Unit 4


Classroom-Assessment-Theory-into-Practice. (2014). Retrieved November 16, 2014 from Wiki: http://classroom-assessment-theory-into-practice.wikispaces.com/Benefits+and+Limitations+of+Peer+Assessment.

Cornell Center for Teaching Excellence. Cornell University. 2012. Retrieved from http://www.cte.cornell.edu/teaching-ideas/assessing-student-learning/peer-assessment.html

Graphicsfuel. (Designer). Bullseye, dart, target icon. Retrieved 7 December 2014, from: https://www.iconfinder.com/icons/67060/bullseye_dart_target_icon.

Icojam. (Designer). Active, check, checkmark, correct, done, green Retrieved November 16, 2014, from: https://www.iconfinder.com/icons/12608/active_check_checkmark_correct_done_green_right_tick_true_yes_icon#size=48.

Iconleak. (Designer). Clip, film, movie, timestamp icon. Retrieved 7 December 2014, from: https://www.iconfinder.com/icons/103860/clip_film_movie_timestamp_icon#size=128.

James, M. (Designer). Arrow, bullet icon. Retrieved 16 November 2014, from: https://www.iconfinder.com/icons/5080/arrow_bullet_icon.

Lundstrom, K., & Baker, K. (2009). To give is better than to receive: The benefits of peer review to the reviewer's own writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 18, 30-43.

McGillOSD. "Evaluation: One-on-one Feedback". Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 5 October 2012. Web. 4 December 2014.

[Untitled brain exercise image]. Retrieved 16 November 2014 from http://oneinabillionblog.com/2012/07/29/1-19-psychology-the-power-of-learning-theory/.

[Untitled learn image]. Retrieved 16 November 2014 from http://www.goldstareducation.com/assessment-for-learning/.

[Untitled target image]. Retrieved 23 November 2014 from https://sites.google.com/a/csdm.k12.mi.us/riversidewitte/5th--healthy-living/objectives.

[Untitled tip image]. Retrieved 24 November 2014 from http://www.kiasubride.com/top-wedding-march-in-songs/.