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ERIC Number: EJ864369
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 16
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1065-0741
Improving Self- and Peer Assessment Processes with Technology
Willey, Keith; Gardner, Anne
Campus-Wide Information Systems, v26 n5 p379-399 2009
Purpose: As a way of focusing curriculum development and learning outcomes universities have introduced graduate attributes, which their students should develop during their degree course. Some of these attributes are discipline-specific, others are generic to all professions. The development of these attributes can be promoted by the careful use of self- and peer assessment. The authors have previously reported using the self- and peer assessment software tool SPARK in various contexts to facilitate opportunities to practice, develop, assess and provide feedback on these attributes. This research and that of the other developers identified the need to extend the features of SPARK, to increase its flexibility and capacity to provide feedback. This paper seeks to report the results of the initial trials to investigate the potential of these new features to improve learning outcomes. Design/methodology/approach: The paper reviews some of the key literature with regard to self- and peer assessment, discusses the main aspects of the original online self- and peer assessment tool SPARK and the new version SPARK[superscript PLUS], reports and analyses the results of a series of student surveys to investigate whether the new features and applications of the tool have improved the learning outcomes in a large multi-disciplinary Engineering Design subject. Findings: It was found that using self- and peer assessment in conjunction with collaborative peer learning activities increased the benefits to students and improved engagement. Furthermore it was found that the new features available in SPARK[superscript PLUS] facilitated efficient implementation of additional self- and peer assessment processes (assessment of individual work and benchmarking exercises) and improved learning outcomes. The trials demonstrated that the tool assisted in improving students' engagement with and learning from peer learning exercises, the collection and distribution of feedback and helping them to identify their individual strengths and weaknesses. Practical implications: SPARK[superscript PLUS] facilitates the efficient management of self- and peer assessment processes even in large classes, allowing assessments to be run multiple times a semester without an excessive burden for the coordinating academic. While SPARK[superscript PLUS] has enormous potential to provide significant benefits to both students and academics, it is necessary to caution that, although a powerful tool, its successful use requires thoughtful and reflective application combined with good assessment design. Originality/value: It was found that the new features available in SPARK[superscript PLUS] efficiently facilitated the development of new self- and peer assessment processes (assessment of individual work and benchmarking exercises) and improved learning outcomes. (Contains 10 figures and 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia