Matching Peers and Teacher Standards: Expectations and Standards of First-Year Group Project

By Paula Hodgson and Theresa L.K. Chan.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies

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A variety of assessment tasks as good assessment principles have been adopted as common practice in universities in Hong Kong. It is essential for first-year students to receive feedback on how they perform in the tasks as the expectations and standards required in university programs are markedly different from schools. Students may receive just-in-time feedback from peers when arranged by teaching faculty. This paper reports a case study of first year students studying ‘Garment Manufacture’ working on a group project on how individuals provide feedback on peer group performance. The research questions of this paper are to examine how well the first-year students deliberate comments to peer groups in the process of formative assessment, and if they perceive similar standards as the teaching faculty. The feedback includes qualitative comments with an overall grade. To examine if student judgment over peer group performance matches the standards expected by teaching faculty, the individual grades on each team are totaled and averaged, and compared with the teacher’s grade. As students can benefit from qualitative feedback, we examine the quality of feedback from students. All comments are coded by content, presentation aids (visual and layout), presentation skills and group collaboration; samples of feedback from the top, middle, and bottom 10 percent of students are examined on how they appraise the top and bottom two group performances. Recommendations will be made on how students learn from feedback received by teaching faculty and by peer groups.

Keywords: Peer Assessment, Standards, Higher Education, First-Year Experience, Feedback, Group Project

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp.41-52. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 226.014KB).

Dr. Paula Hodgson

Senior Education Development Officer, Office of Education Development and Gateway Education, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Dr. Paula Hodgson is a doctoral graduate of the University of South Australia who has been working in higher education since 1997. Enthusiastic about innovative practices in teaching and research, she has been researching the use of learning technologies for learning, teaching and assessment in different disciplines in universities in Hong Kong and New Zealand for over a decade. She places high value on a learning-centred approach to teaching and on engaging learners in a way that challenges their preconceived ideas in achieving both intended and unintended learning outcomes. Now working in City University of Hong Kong as senior education development officer, her current research interests are assessment for learning, pedagogy in discovery-enriched curriculum, developing generic and professional competence through authentic and virtual learning environments, and case-based teaching and assessment.

Theresa L.K. Chan

Lecturer, Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Ms. Lai Kuen Chan gained her MPhil degree from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) on the basis of research on the ergonomics studies. She is a lecturer in the Institute of Textiles and Clothing in PolyU, with a specialism in garment manufacturing. She is keen to develop innovative approaches to teaching and learning.