Exploring Students’ Perceptions of Peer Assessment in Group Work for Allocation of Individual Marks in Higher Education

By Jan Grajczonek.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Increasingly group work forms a significant element of assessment in higher education. Two major reasons for the high rate of group work in higher education are that it develops teamwork and lessens the burden of marking time for teachers of large cohorts. However, with this increased implementation of group work comes an increased concern of how to assess each student’s individual contribution to the project in order to allocate final marks for each student.

One method most often used to allocate group marks is to allocate the same mark to each member of the group. This method has invited much criticism as it does not acknowledge individual contribution to either the group process or to the product, and further, it rewards ‘free-riders’. However, the implementation of peer assessment in group work to determine allocation of individual marks has had mixed responses.

The purpose of the study was to explore final year education students’ perceptions of the introduction of secret peer assessment to determine the allocation of individual student marks for a group project. It was also to determine whether the process made any difference to those individual marks.

Keywords: Group Assessment in Higher Education, Peer Assessment in Higher Education Group Work, Allocating Individual Marks for Group Work in Higher Education

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp.105-126. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.764MB).

Dr. Jan Grajczonek

Lecturer, Course Coordinator BEd, School of Religious Education, Faculty of Education, Australian Catholic University, Banyo, Brisbane, Queenlsand, Australia

Dr. Jan Grajczonek is a lecturer in the School of Religious Education in the Faculty of Education at the Australian Catholic University. She teaches in both the undergraduate Bachelor of Education and postgraduate teacher education levels. Jan’s research interests include the classroom teaching of religion at the early years and primary school levels; assessment practices in the classroom religion program and assessment practices in higher education courses. Her publications include: Ryan, M. & Grajczonek, J. (2007). An inspired tradition: Religious education in Catholic primary schools today. Brisbane: Lumino Press. Grajczonek, J., & Ryan, M. (Eds.). (2007). Religious education in early childhood: A reader. Brisbane: Lumino Press. Jan’s other interests include the critical role children’s literature plays in the classroom and is a regular reviewer of children’s literature and its specific use in the religion classroom for the online journal, Echoing the Word, St Paul’s Press http://www.echoingtheword.com.


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