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Peer collaboration and assessment

Title: Some unexpected benefits of technology supported peer collaboration which aggressively attack traditional methods of assessment.
Date/time: Friday 26 Aug 2011. Session: Parallel Sessions A (our own slot: 11am - 12).
Occasion: eAssessment Scotland 2011
Place: University of Dundee   Dalhousie Building
How to get there: Instructions

Sarah Honeychurch,   Learning and Teaching Centre,   University of Glasgow.
Steve Draper,   School of Psychology,   University of Glasgow.

Slides: PDF
Handout: PDF file
Related material:


The benefits of peer collaboration in terms of building a learning community are well known, but the reasons why this happens have not been fully understood. We began with an interest in collaborative work and investigated various models of implementing this by using Web 2.0 technologies, noting that these technologies allow the teacher to evaluate individual input and to ensure that proper credit is given to each student. We ended with a startling conclusion: students are very good at providing constructive feedback to their peers and, even when this is implemented in a way that appears to be informal, formative learning happens. This led us to challenge traditional models of assessment and to re-evaluate basic principles of learning and teaching. There is obviously a place for assessment by the teacher, but the concept of constructive feedback needs to be reconsidered. In order to explain this we begin with an overview of some models of peer collaboration and, by presenting short case studies, we show how subtle group effects can help individual students to improve their academic performance.

In order to book online and obtain further information about the LTDF, please visit; or otherwise contact Kenji Lamb on 0131 559 4112

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