Supporting student learning through collaborative assessment tasks

Hernandez, R. (2013) Supporting student learning through collaborative assessment tasks. In: Student Learning: Improving Practice. Nova Science Publishers, Inc., pp. 91-104. ISBN 9781626188877 (ISBN)


The significance of student learning as a social activity often manifests itself in collaborative learning through interaction and interdependence in higher education contexts. Approaches such as Problem-Based Learning (PBL), task-based learning and project work are examples of collaborative learning. However, the translation of collaborative learning into collaborative assessment is not always successfully accomplished, and often the collaborative learning approaches are abandoned in favour of 'individual' assessment practices graded by academics; and, even when students are involved in collaborative assessment, their dissatisfaction is often reported in the literature. This chapter makes a case for student interaction through peer-assessment tasks as a way of supporting collaborative learning. It draws on data collected from students and faculty staff from several higher education institutions in Ireland on the subject of peer assessment. Discussion of the findings highlights that staff and students, in principle, support collaborative assessment, but its actual implementation seems to be less apparent. It is argued that failure to recognise the potential of collaborative student peer assessment tasks may be due to views of assessment held by faculty staff and by students, and to students not being sufficiently prepared for involvement in collaborative assessment. A number of proposals are suggested and substantiated by practices already implemented by the author, which are intended to move forward the current debate on the topic of collaborative assessment and pedagogical praxis. © 2013 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

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