The Views of Prospective Class Teachers about Peer Assessment in Teaching Practice

By Koç, Canan | Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri, Autumn 2011 | Go to article overview

The Views of Prospective Class Teachers about Peer Assessment in Teaching Practice


Koç, Canan, Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri


Abstract

The present study was conducted in order to determine the opinions of prospective teachers about peer assessment in teaching practice. Twenty two prospective teachers in the 4th year of the Primary School Class Teaching Program at Cumhuriyet University participated in the study. In every teaching practice, prospective teachers observed their peers and filled out peer assessment forms which include teacher competences; and the assessments were discussed in the theoretical part of the teaching practice, this takes 2 hours. At the end of the teaching practice where peer assessment was made, the opinions of prospective teachers about peer assessment were taken via a semi-structured negotiation technique, and content analysis was carried out. Of all the prospective teachers, 90.91% stated that the use of peer assessment in teaching practice was beneficial. Prospective teachers think that peer assessment helps develop skills in using standards while making assessments; increases the awareness of the individual's strengths and weaknesses; supports learning from the strengths and weaknesses of colleagues; increases the responsibility towards mutually supportive learning and development; improves teacher competences; gives the opportunity to make comparisons with other colleagues) (diversity of practice) ; increases cooperation and interaction; decreases the anxiety that results from being assessed; enables the teacher to focus on teaching; improves openness to criticism; develops assessment skills; improves empathetic skills and critical thinking; brings peer assessment skill and strengthens the relationship with colleagues. The findings of the present study show that peer assessment is an effective method in the configuration of the teaching process.

Key Words

Peer Assessment, Teacher Education, Teaching Practice

In recent years, a passage from "assessing of learning" to "assessing for learning" is observed (Cartney, 2010; Torrance, 2007 cited in Willey & Gardner, 2010). Assessment for learning focuses on learning task and includes learning in assessment (Keppell & Carless, 2006). Assessment for learning has three main elements (Black & William, 1998; Carless, 2007 cited in Willey & Gardner, 2010): 1) Assessment tasks which focus on learning, 2) Participation of students in the assessment process in order to improve their rating aspects which includes judgment, 3) Transmitting feedback to increase learning.

Assessment for learning focuses on the usage of assessment strategies which can increase student learning, unlike summative assessment made for the confirmation or documentation of learning (Keppell, Au, Ma, & Chan, 2006). According to Boud (1990), the assessment process should be a learning instrument. Ideal assessment intends to make students plan their own learning; define their weaknesses and strengths and improve their transferable skills (cited in McLaughlin & Simpson, 2004). According to Strijbos and Sluijsmans (2010), summative assessment focuses only on the cognitive aspect of learning; includes generally only one performance grade and it is designed and applied by the teacher. However, assessment should not just serve level setting; it should also serve to the targets of formation in a wider point of view. Formative evaluation is an integral part of the learning process and it should take place not only at the end of a program but also throughout the entire program. Formative evaluation focuses on cognitive, social, affective and superior cognitive aspects. It generally includes a multi-method approach and creates a complete profile rather than simply a final grade. Students take an active role in the assessment process.

In the context of formative assessment or assessment for learning, peer assessment, which was seen to increase student's learning, plays an important role (Cartney, 2010; Ploegh, Tillema, & Segers, 2009).

Peer Assessment

Peer assessment is generally defined as a process in which students assess their peers or they are assessed by their peers. …

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