4 Ways Peer Assessment Prepares Students for the Real-World

Peer assessment has an immense portfolio of benefits to students that can help build skills needed to be successful in the workforce. While several instructors promote the practice of peer review in their courses, a 360-degree feedback loop can ensure students are learning and effectively engaging with their classmates.

 “3 in 4 employers say they have a hard time finding graduates with the soft skills their companies need.” (Wilkie D., 2019)

In this article, we are going to be exploring how peer assessment is the only scalable method for instructors to ensure meaningful interactions and for students to be ready for life after school.

  • 5 Key Skills that Students need to be Successful
  • How can Peer Assessment Prepare Students for the real-world

5 Key Skills that Students need to be Successful

Apart from learning technical, the course knowledge learned in classes that prepare students to excel in their work field, there are a few more soft skills they need to be successful. 

1. Critical-thinking skills

The ability to ask questions about the information that is presented and how it is analyzed and can be used to develop new solutions is the key to building critical thinking skills[1]. A learning environment that gives students enough opportunities to probe, receive feedback, and find alternatives can enhance their level of thinking and the quality of work they produce.

The University of British Columbia[2] outlines peer-to-peer assessment as a tool that can develop several real-world skills where students can enhance their engagement in critical review of their future colleagues.”

2. Collaboration

It is inevitable that students will work in teams and collaborate with their colleagues on projects in the workforce. When students are exposed to collaborative learning environments in college/universities, it teaches them how to deal with different kinds of people. Address various issues and find mutual solutions that help the team. A major part of this process is learning how to give meaningful feedback.

“[Before Kritik], the students never thought they could evaluate someone because they’re so used to me evaluating them. I liked the fact that [Kritik] had a strong critical thinking component, and the students were able to grade their peers.” - Professor Francine Guice

3. Agility and Adaptability

It is necessary for students to be agile and adaptable to change so they can think, act, and react quickly in time-sensitive situations. These are some soft skills that freshers who join the workforce need to survive in the real world. Therefore, they are often teamed with people who already possess these skills rather than be left alone to work. 

4. Effective Communication

Learning the ropes to effective communication (oral and written) comes with much practice. Even if the students feel they’ve used clear words to express their concerns, there is no guarantee that the information will be interpreted correctly. Having multiple opportunities to work with peers ensures a better understanding of each others’ strengths, the right style and the mode of communication. 

“People who communicate effectively know how to interact with others flexibly, skillfully, and responsibly, but without sacrificing their own needs and integrity.”- Dr. Ankita Gautam[3]

5. Learning to accept and receive feedback

Receiving timely feedback can enable students to course correct before it’s too late. Being receptive to feedback and using it as an opportunity to produce better quality work shows a willingness to learn, which is what most employers look for when hiring fresh talent.

While giving helpful and constructive feedback can take a few iterations, providing structured rubrics can guide students in the right direction. Let us see how peer assessment can hone this skill among students.

  

How can Peer Assessment Prepare Students for the real-world

The ultimate objective of any learning process is to apply your knowledge in the real world. However, this becomes challenging when students do not actively participate in class activities and discussions. Here is where peer assessments help as the process helps - 

1. Provide Constructive feedback

In a study that compared student perceptions of giving feedback and receiving feedback, it was found that students could improve their work by simply providing feedback to their peers before even receiving their own[4]. With Kritik, this is made easy in three steps: Create, Evaluate, and Feedback, wherein students are required to give constructive feedback.

2. Exposure to Diverse Perspectives

When giving feedback to their peers, students are required to analyze the assignments to give pointers on how they can be made better and also commend their achievements. While this exposes the student to a different way of looking at the same problem, it also forces the student to think about their own approach. 

3. Helps build strong Concepts

As students get to see the problem in different capacities as a student and as an evaluator, this helps with reinforcing the concepts learned in their minds. Most instructors using Kritik can turn around feedback within a week or before the next lecture, which helps them be better prepared to understand the forthcoming topics. 

4. Encourages Student Participation

When instructors use peer assessments in their courses, they are giving their cohorts another opportunity to learn and engage with each other. Instructors using Kritik in their courses say that their students try harder when they know that their peers are going to be assessing the quality of their work.

Building future-ready students with Kritik!

Peer assessment on Kritik enables an environment that nurtures the act of honesty through how accurately and fairly a student grades their peer's work compared to the overall mark the creation receives. Building these fundamental skills will enhance their ability to build trustworthy connections within their personal and professional relationships.

Schedule a demo with Kritik today to build transferable skills that equip students for their careers.

References

[1] What is Critical Thinking? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://louisville.edu/ideastoaction/about/criticalthinking/what 

[2] Ideas and Strategies for Peer Assessments. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://isit.arts.ubc.ca/ideas-and-strategies-for-peer-assessments/ 

[3] Goutam A. (2013). Effective Communication at Workplace. IRC’S INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MULTIDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH IN SOCIAL & MANAGEMENT SCIENCES, Vol: 1, Issue: 2. http://www.ircjournals.org/ 

[4] Li L., Grion V. (2019). The Power of Giving Feedback and Receiving Feedback in Peer Assessment. PKP Publishing Services, Vol. 11 No. 2. https://ojs.aishe.org/index.php/aishe-j/article/view/413

Emily Masters
Education Researcher

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