Benefits of peer marking

31 May 2023

Learning how to provide, receive, reflect, and act on feedback is a valuable lifelong skill. Feedback from teacher-student is important, as is student-student feedback.

Peer marking is one technique that can be used to engage students in the feedback process. Through peer marking students become self-reflective, take an active role in managing their own learning, improve their knowledge of the course content, improve the quality of future work, develop their reasoning and critical thinking skills, and engage in meaningful learner interactions.

Peer marking can be incorporated into a variety of assessment types including written, audio, and video submissions, and is facilitated through the Workshop activity on Akoraka | Learn. If you choose to incorporate peer marking in your course assessment, it is important to provide students with your rationale for doing so. Students also need to be provided training on the peer marking process with detailed and specific instructions. It is also important to spend time training students on how to provide effective feedback. Provide guidance on how to give constructive critical feedback, how to write positive feedback, how to explain why the feedback/mark was given, and how to provide actionable suggestions. Examples of good, and/or poor, feedback can be beneficial.

Students need to be guided through the peer marking with clearly defined marking criteria. Remember this may be the first time your students have provided feedback to their peers or marked other student work. Keep the marking criteria simple. If you are using an analytic marking rubric, try to use a scale of 0-1 or 0-1-2 for each criterion rather than the 5pt scale that you might be used to using when you are marking.

When incorporating peer marking, you have the option to award marks to students for their own submission as well as for their assessment of other students’ submissions – remember to let students know the weighting of each. As well as peer assessment, you can also choose to include self-assessment, where students assess their own work.

Lecturers should remain involved in the marking process by reviewing the submissions and peer assessments and assessing some or all student work themselves. However, the use of peer marking can speed up the marking and feedback process and may lead to reductions in marking workload, especially for large courses.

For guidance on how to include peer marking in your course assessment and how to set up a Workshop activity on your Akoraka | Learn course page, register for the Peer Marking workshop

Also see our previous tips on Using assessment to improve student learningDesigning effective marking rubrics, and How to create better group work

Guidance on setting up a Workshop activity in Akoraka | Learn is also available on Ākona te Akoraka | Learn about Learn.