Peer marking is defined as the marking of students by their peers, in this context group members from a projects they are working on together.
Students that attend university straight from school are usually quite apprehensive of group projects due to a lack of experience of such situations, as well as very commonly-observed social anxiety.There is also a large 'pushback' from group projects for the perceived reason that poor performance from other students may reduce the grades that they could achieve on their own.
Peer marking is a very important tool in a facilitator of project-based learning because it can have a very strong positive effect on students who are resentful of undertaking group projects because of potentially poor-performing peers.
In the first instance, of a project-based learning module has been organised well, there are some marks assigned for 'individual contribution'. It may be wise to set this as coming from peer marking to help incentivise students to work effectively within their groups. Peer marking can give them the opportunity to provide a low score when they feel their colleagues have been underperforming. This is empowering for them, and their team. Infact, this is also beneficial for those facilitating projects to identify poor-performing students and intervene.
Peer marking is a particularly beneficial tool to enable students to identify poor performers, act as 'encouragement' and a tool for academics to identify students who are struggling and intervene.
To learn more about peer marking, project-based learning and CDIO, see our other blog posts or get in touch.