Evaluation of marking of peer-marking in oral presentation

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Background Peer-marking is an important skill for students helping them to understand the process of learning and assessment. This method is increasingly used in medical education, particularly in formative assessment. However, the use of peer-marking in summative assessment is not widely adopted because many teachers are concerned about biased marking by students of their peers.
Objective The aim of this study was to investigate whether marking of summative peer assessment can improve the reliability of peer-marking.
Methods In a retrospective analysis, the peer-marking results of a summative assessment of oral presentations of two cohorts of students were compared. One group of students were told that their peer marks would be assessed against a benchmark consisting of the average of examiner marks and that these scores together with the peer and examiner marks will form their final exam results. The other group of students were just informed that their final exam results would be determined based on the examiner and peer marks.
Results Based on examiners marks, both groups of students performed similarly in their summative assessment, agreement between student markers was less consistent and more polar than the examiners. When compared with the examiners, students who were told that their peer-marking would be scored were more generous markers (their average peer mark was 2.4 percentage points higher than the average examiner mark) while students who were not being scored on their marking were rather harsh markers (their average peer mark was 4.2 percentage points lower than the average examiner mark), with scoring of the top-performing students most affected.
Conclusions Marking of peer-marking had a small effect on the marking conduct of students in summative assessment of oral presentation but possibly indicated a more balanced marking performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-107
Number of pages5
JournalPerspectives on Medical Education
Issue number2
Early online date7 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


  • Summative assessment
  • Peer marking
  • Oral presentation

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