Peer & Self-Assessments in PBL

Peer and self-assessment are important parts of the project-based learning process. Rather than simply assessing what students learned during or after instruction, assessment may also be used AS a means for learning. Consider the famous quote from John Dewey: “We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.” During the process of assessing one’s or a peer’s work, students are given a great opportunity to reflect and extend their learning.

Two resources that I use for peer and self-assessment are the Critical Friends Protocol and the OrangeSlice Rubrics Google Doc Add-on:

1.  The Critical Friends Protocol is a structured way to allow students to present their ideas to peers and collect constructive feedback to improve their products or ideas.  When the protocol is properly modeled and taught to students, the discourse between students is positive and provides “next steps” for the presenting student or group to refine their work. I have used this protocol towards the beginning of a project where students can critique and fine-tune main ideas, as well as towards the end of the project to encourage students to move their work from draft to perfected quality.

Video – BIE.ORG | PDF – New Tech Network Resource


2.   OrangeSlice Rubrics is an electronic means of creating, sharing, and utilizing rubrics for student work. Teachers are able to create a new rubric or adapt an existing one by using the add-on. Once a rubric is created, it may be inserted into a student work template or pasted into existing student work. Using the student add-on, students then assess the work; scoring for each domain is highlighted, a holistic score is calculated, and specific feedback may be collected. Teachers then may use their version of the add-on to provide further feedback, or may wait until after revisions are made to evaluate the work. Student and teacher scoring is colored differently to differentiate between the two.

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