Peer assessment degrades value of student assignments

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Peer assessment is a common grading method where students grade each other’s assignments. Oftentimes, teachers utilize this method because they do not have the time to grade themselves, or they wish to teach students better analytical skills. Despite its convenience, peer grading is a risky and poor method to score student’s work.

Peer assessment allows for unreliable grading among students. Students are often biased, giving their peers an undeserved score. They may arrange deals with their friends to fix or ignore mistakes, leading to a dishonest grade. Students can also be unfamiliar or confused with the grading rubrics, thus giving inconsistent, subjective scores that do not accurately reflect a student’s performance. It is unreasonable to make students responsible for their peers’ grades when they are prone to being unreliable.

Despite teachers having a schedule of plans for the entire year, peer assessment is still a waste of class time. This time could be more beneficial for students if it was used to teach new material. Spending days on peer assessment unjustly slows class progress. It would be best for teachers to grade on their own time, rather than waste valuable class time.

Although peer assessment may be used to train students to appraise work with a critical eye, many students do not grade thoroughly or seriously since it is not their main priority. Allowing students to determine grades is irresponsible, given they lack training and expertise. Teachers would also be able to provide more useful feedback that a student can learn from as opposed to a peer who is unfamiliar with grading. The job of grading must remain to teachers. 

Peer assessment creates more problems than it solves. Not only are students bound to score inaccurately, but student grading also slows the class down. Teachers must grade on their own time and assign work that truly sharpens students’ evaluation skills, such as sample documents for students to assess without putting real grades at risk. Peer assessment does nothing to help students and must change so that it is no longer a method to determine a student’s score.

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