Peer assessment can often be an add on to a lesson, and can often result in poor feedback to students such as “write neater” or “check spelling”. To improve this students (like teachers) need to know what to look for when giving peer assessment comments.
One way to do this is to give students a criteria to look for. The criteria should be quite simplistic in the first cases, in language that is easy to understand and it should be easy for students to identify whether their peer has or has not done this. Below is an example from a piece of work where students were writing a piece on life in the Arctic and the criteria that should be looked at when peer marking.
The list is very specific and easily identifiable in peers work. Students then identify something the student has done from the list (the WWW) and something the student has not included (the EBI). To try and reduce the issue of a student “freestyling” and writing an EBI which was not on the criteria, if a student received their book back without a comment specifically from the criteria they had to give it back to the marker (there will always be that one student who “freestyles” especially in the early days of this routine.
The students then acted on their EBI by writing a short paragraph which described the missing aspect. This saved me a job, time and students demonstrated progress in their work.