In this module, I learned the importance of subjecting students to peer- as well as self-assessments. This makes the whole process of assessment more holistic, because the students’ voices are being heard. They get to share a part, no matter how small it is, in their overall grade.
When I was an elementary student, I always feel anxious when asked to assess my own performance. I mean, as far as genuine assessment is concerned and if I happen to rate myself too high, my classmates would think that I think too much of myself and that I rated myself higher so as to pull my grades up. On the other hand, if I happen to rate myself too low, then they might also think that I am just trying to be humble. These circumstances can happen even if I honestly and genuinely grade myself. As a result, I tend to rate myself with positive and negative bias, depending on the situation.
Bias or partiality cannot also be avoided in the case of peer-assessments. When members of a group are too close to each other and that they have a harmonious relationship, they are likely to favor one another when asked to assess each of their performances or contributions. However, if there is a rift or conflict among group members, it can also affect on how they will rate each other. These circumstances show how self- and peer-assessments can be unreliable (biased, at that) especially if they are not appropriately implemented.
Hence, how can teachers ensure the genuineness, and therefore reliability, of these kinds of assessments? I realized that informing students of the main objective on why they need to undergo such assessment is very important. This is not just to make them aware, but also to enjoin them in realizing that purpose. Further, establishing anonymity among students who do the assessment can make them more confident in giving “real” grades because they will not be held liable for whatever consequence it can result to.
Peer- and self-assessments should be implemented not just to involve students in the assessment process, but also to serve as an “assessment as learning” wherein they can have a chance to monitor and improve their performance in school.