Carnegie Mellon University

Eberly Center

Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation

Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation

Peer Evaluations as a Formative Assessment Tool

Oppenheimer, D.

Each week, students in my large introductory psychology class respond to prompts that require creative and/or analytical responses.  Rather than having the teaching team grade these assignments, we use peer-assessment. After students submit responses, they are provided a rubric for how to evaluate assignments and provide feedback.  Each response is graded by three (anonymous and randomly assigned) peers. Consequently, each student 1) gets three perspectives on strengths and weaknesses of their answer 2) gets to see three peer answers, which they can compare to their own answer to gain a broader understanding of the material, and  3) gets experience evaluating answers, allowing them to see from a grader’s perspective what elements need to be in an answer in order to receive credit. Peer-assessment cuts down on the grading burden for the teaching team, while simultaneously enriching the learning experience of the students. Example materials will be provided. 

Danny Oppenheimer, Psychology