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ERIC Number: EJ935501
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-1043-4046
Peer Assessment in Large Undergraduate Classes: An Evaluation of a Procedure for Marking Laboratory Reports and a Review of Related Practices
Harris, Judy R.
Advances in Physiology Education, v35 n2 p178-187 Jun 2011
This study provides evidence that peer marking can be a reliable tool for assessing laboratory reports in large cohorts. It was conducted over a 4-yr period with first-year undergraduates ([asymptotically equivalent to]180 students/cohort) taking a mammalian physiology course, but the procedure adopted would be applicable to any other laboratory-based discipline. The process was found to be efficient in staff time, enabling a summative practical report to be marked in less than 1 h (less than 5% of the time that had previously been required for staff marking), facilitating rapid feedback to students on their performance. When samples of the peer-assessed reports were marked by a single member of staff, there was excellent correlation between peer and staff marks (r = 0.96-0.98), although peer-awarded marks exceeded staff marks by an average of 2.5-3.0%. The validity of peer marking was independent of both the sex of the marker and the staff score awarded to the marker for the same piece of work. Feedback from students was largely positive; they reported that the procedure adopted was effective in increasing their understanding of the underlying physiology and contributed to their understanding of best practice in presenting a laboratory report. Seventy percent of students agreed that it was acceptable for peer assessment to contribute a small (up to 5%) component of the overall mark for the course. The results are discussed in relation to other reports of peer marking, particularly when used to assess an academic product or process in a scientific discipline. (Contains 3 tables, 1 footnote and 6 figures.)
American Physiological Society. 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3991. Tel: 301-634-7164; Fax: 301-634-7241; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A