Assessing pupils’ progression throughout their educational career can be a complex and demanding matter. Formative assessment has become a vital aspect within learning which is beneficial to those measuring and supporting pupils’ progression. The goal behind formative assessment, “is often seen as using a variety of strategies to ascertain current knowledge and understanding in order to then set targets for improvement” (Clarke, 2015). Peer assessment has been seen as a successful practice in classroom studies and in improving pupils’ progression. It allows pupils the opportunity to view and judge others’ work of the same standard without having the pressure of a teacher seeing the work for the first time. “Students reported being more engaged in the feedback from their peers than from their lecturers when using peer assessment” (Logan, 2009). Using peer assessment gives pupils the chance to expand their own ideas and learning. As OECD suggests, “[Students] who are learning to judge the quality of their own and their peers’ work against well-defined criteria are developing invaluable skills for lifelong learning” (OECD, 2005). However, use of peer assessment also has its challenges. Pupils could be easily persuaded by their peers, perhaps listening more to what they think, rather than following a collective form of feedback. Moreover, the relationships and competition students have with one another could affect pupil progression and even self-esteem. “…there appeared to be a shift in the levels of confidence…but peer assessment was felt to be much more daunting…harbouring fears of being exposed for their failure or lack of academic ability” (Logan, 2009) Throughout the enquiry the strategy ‘Peer Assessment’ was explored to help gain a better understanding of the method and ways in which this could be implemented and developed in improving attainment and engaging leaners.
The aim of this enquiry was to see what would happen when the Peer assessment technique ‘Two stars and a wish’ was introduced into a First-Year Secondary art class.