Using Turnitin PeerMark for summative assessment

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photo credit: AJC1 via photopin cc

I’ve been working on the redesign of a Professional Development course for a large cohort (120+) of first year undergraduates. The academic who runs the module wanted to use summative peer assessment for a technical report writing activity.

Questions that interested the course team included:

  1. Can summative peer assessment be designed in such a way that results reflect the grading curve produced by staff marking?
  2. Does peer review encourage deeper student understanding of, and higher competence in, writing technical reports?
  3. Does the use of technology to automate parts of this process provide time savings for the course team (that could be better spent on providing other types of feedback  to students)?

The tool that we opted to use in this first iteration was Turnitin’s PeerMark. Students were given a formative exercise which enabled them to practice marking sample reports, compare the accuracy of their marking against that of the course team, and to view originality reports for the samples. Students then wrote their own report and were required to self review after marking two of their peers’ reports. The course team provided moderation of marking where necessary. A more detailed dissemination is planned once the module has run its course.

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