Marking can become extremely boring, as a teacher you are prone to do it at least once a week or even once a day, but it’s the big word that goes around schools; ‘assessment’. ‘Assessment is for Learning’, ‘Formative Assessment’ and ‘Final Assessment’, assessment, assessment… assessment.
This is all extremely important for teachers to have to do and for pupils to have to go through, but often there is very little reward for those that don’t do so well, other than knowing that they didn’t do too well. That is why ‘Peer Assessment’ is so important. It makes the whole thing more interactive, more involving and therefore more interesting and important to the pupils.
By changing the marker from the usual Mr Smith or Mrs Jones and placing it as the responsibility of the pupil, you are putting power into their hands and which pupil does not want more control over their learning.
Art & Design is great for Peer Evaluation. Pupils already can see what is good and what doesn’t work, even though they’ve had no formal tutoring. There’s something inert inside us that makes us very visually aware from a young age. It’s then pretty easy for us Art Teachers to teach how things should be and not.
I have developed a quick single period peer assessment that can be printed out or changed to suit your needs below. Having now practiced this method for two years and received praise from other art teachers who have tried it, I would suggest this task for all pupils.
It involves the pupil completing a self assessment first by filling out pupil effort out of ten, a star (good point) and a wish (something that could be better) and then finishing with a mark out of ten for the work. This not only gives them a comparison, it also gets them familiar with the task to then perform it five more times for other pupils.
After self assessment all pupils should move around the classroom to another pupil work and complete the task again. I like to give pupils a different coloured pen so as to avoid confusion if a part of the assessment is missed (i.e. “Which pupil with a purple pen marked Lisa’s work last? You forgot to mark in effort.”) The pupil work and sheet should remain on the table and only the Pupil and their pen should move.
Pupils should move five times and mark their peers appropriately. Some classes will work, some won’t. Though it is worth trying with all pupils as there is much to gain from seeing peer marking and performing peer marking.
After the peer marks have been completed, the pupils return to their original seats to look at their marks, stars and wishes. I would then normally ask individuals if they agree or disagree with statements made.
The final part of the task involves some mathematics. Pupils add up their five peer marks and divide by five, rounding down. This will give them a peer mark to compare against their original self mark.
Peer > Self – They are being hard on their work and don’t see the good things that others do.
Self > Peer – Are being big-headed about their work and consider it to be of a better standard than others do.
Peer = Self – Pupils are spot on with how they perceive their work. They are aware of their audience and have an empathy with them. This is the more suitable state for anyone that wishes to be creative and public.
Although this sounds very complicated with lots of parts, discussion and freedom, it is a very rewarding lesson for teacher and pupil alike. I would advise all teachers to try this task at least twice with two very different class years before writing it off completely.
In the files box (bottom right panel) you will find a download-able copy of the end of unit peer evaluation form or you can click the image above to enlarge and then right click save. You can use this copy or change it in Photoshop, all that I ask is that you let me know how it went and if you would try it again.