Improving Peer Assessment Quality in a Web Development Course
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Academia has used peer reviews to ensure high quality of scholarly work for decades, and the way it allows the reviewers to gain an insight into the work of other people has proven beneficial to learners, particularly through the process of peer assessment. Peer assessment is an educational method where students assess the work of peer students, and state of the art research have found it a reliable method for assessing a significant number of students while simultaneously improving the learning experience of the assessors. Due to lack of quality in some peer assessments done in a web development course at NTNU, work started to investigate ways to improve the quality of the assessments. After a literature review, the two primary research questions for the thesis were `How can the use of peer assessments be improved with regards to the usefulness and learning experience for students?' and `How can course staff spend less time evaluating peer assessments while still maintaining legitimacy?'. Following the research questions came the conceptualization and prototyping of an information system which implements a usefulness-rating of peer assessments, where the receiving students rate the assessments. The results from a survey of students in the course mentioned above suggest that a rating system will increase the effort students are willing to put into the assessments. If the usefulness-rating of the assessments makes part of their grade for the course, more than 90 were willing to produce high-quality assessments. Due to lack of interest from contacted course staff at the university, a full-scale test of the system was not possible. Therefore, the conclusion of the thesis is currently purely theoretical, and further work is required to address the research questions thoroughly.