ERIC Number: EJ910888
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
How Accurate Is Peer Grading?
Freeman, Scott; Parks, John W.
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v9 n4 p482-488 Win 2010
Previously we showed that weekly, written, timed, and peer-graded practice exams help increase student performance on written exams and decrease failure rates in an introductory biology course. Here we analyze the accuracy of peer grading, based on a comparison of student scores to those assigned by a professional grader. When students graded practice exams by themselves, they were significantly easier graders than a professional; overall, students awarded [approximately]25% more points than the professional did. This difference represented [approximately]1.33 points on a 10-point exercise, or 0.27 points on each of the five 2-point questions posed. When students graded practice exams as a group of four, the same student-expert difference occurred. The student-professional gap was wider for questions that demanded higher-order versus lower-order cognitive skills. Thus, students not only have a harder time answering questions on the upper levels of Bloom's taxonomy, they have a harder time grading them. Our results suggest that peer grading may be accurate enough for low-risk assessments in introductory biology. Peer grading can help relieve the burden on instructional staff posed by grading written answers--making it possible to add practice opportunities that increase student performance on actual exams. (Contains 1 figure and 5 tables.)
Descriptors: Grading, Biology, Peer Evaluation, Comparative Analysis, Student Role, Thinking Skills, Cognitive Processes, Science Achievement, Introductory Courses, College Science, Undergraduate Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A