Understanding Web-Based Peer Assessment in Teacher Education

Understanding Web-Based Peer Assessment in Teacher Education

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1461-0.ch014
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With the development of technology, web-based peer assessment has been increasingly used as an alternative, formative assessment strategy with great potential for student learning benefits. The purpose of this chapter is to synthesize a series of empirical research studies conducted by the authors to examine factors that can influence the effectiveness of web-based peer assessment with teacher education students. The findings of these studies are discussed within the larger context of general research in peer assessment. Implications are provided to better inform researchers and teacher educators about the use of web-based peer assessment and how it relates to teacher education students' ability to apply assessment criteria and their ability to take advantage of peer feedback.
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Much teacher education research has been published regarding web-based peer assessment systems. Some studies presented standalone web-based peer assessment system for pre-service and in-service teachers. Li and Steckelberg (2005) developed Peer Assessment Support System (PASS), a database-driven website with a student interface and an instructor interface, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Using PASS, undergraduate students taking an instructional technology course were able to anonymously rate and comment on two randomly assigned peers’ projects as well as viewing ratings and comments from their peers on their own project, while the instructor was able to monitor the peer assessment process with “a substantial reduction of management workload (p. 84)”. Tsai and his collaborators (Tsai, Liu, Lin, & Yuan, 2001; Tsai, Lin, & Yuan, 2002) developed a similar networked peer assessment system for secondary science education students to submit, review, and revise a science homework design project at the National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan. Their system is somewhat different from PASS in that it used a Vee heuristic based interface for guiding the design process, allowed submission of multiple, linked files for one project, and involved more than one rounds of peer assessment and revision.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Rubric-Based Assessment: A tool used to judge performance according to a list of explicit criteria and standards and a grading scale, often developed in the form of matrix.

Anonymity in Peer Assessment: Concealing the identity of assessors and/or assesses in one or more phases of the peer assessment process.

Formative Assessment: A range of assessment approaches that focus on providing ongoing, informative feedback to be used for the purpose of improving teaching, learning, or practices.

Peer Assessment: The process of students evaluating each other’s work using performance criteria.

Validity of Assessment: The degree to which an assessment truly and accurately measures what it claims to measure.

Teacher Education: Any formal program that provides training for prospective and in-service teachers and practitioners to perform various roles at the elementary and secondary school levels.

Constructive/Critical Feedback: Feedback that identifies specific issues and provides helpful suggestions for the improvement of the quality of a product or service.

Peer Pressure: Pressure that one feels as a member of social groups to behave in a certain way or believe in certain things in order to be accepted by peers in the same group.

Web-Based Peer Assessment: Peer assessment implemented in a web-based environment, typically through an integrated database system that automatically distributes and collects peer assessment tasks.

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