Formative assessment is vital in the day to day working of a classroom. Peer Assessment is an important aspect of formative assessment which is often used incorrectly in classrooms. This inquiry is looking at what happens if pupils are given a success criteria specific checklist to follow when peer marking. Many researchers talk about the importance of peer assessment for not only the raising of attainment in schools but also in developing social skills needed for everyday life. Vygotsky talks about the importance of the more knowledgeable other in his writings. He speaks about how valuable it is that children learn from one another either by their strengths or weaknesses. This concept really enticed us and made complete sense that children would learn a lot from their peers.
According to Boud and Falchikov (1989), Peer Assessment is where “students use criteria and apply standards to the work of their peers in order to judge that work. Both self and peer assessment are formative, in that it has beneficial effects on learning, but may also be summative, either in the sense of learners deciding that they have learned as much as they wished to do in a given area, or ….it may contribute to the grades awarded to the students”. Peer assessment is vital as students develop the skills of identifying what a high standard of work is and of picking out mistakes and knowing how to fix them. There is a vast amount of literature surrounding peer assessment and we were keen to determine how checklists played a part in this.
The aim of this inquiry was to investigate what happens when pupils use success criteria specific checklists to peer assess. We wanted to determine if this improved pupils abilities to peer assess, in turn improving their own ability to do the task.