Improving Laboratory Learning Through Self and Peer Assessment of Laboratory Reports

Kieran F. Lim

Abstract


The laboratory provides an opportunity for students to achieve many learning outcomes including to critically evaluate information, interpret and draw conclusions from scientific data, and communicate scientific results, information, or arguments. This paper describes a laboratory-writing task that involves self and peer evaluation. After discussion of the expectations of laboratory report writing during class, students self and peer evaluate reports. In a process similar to double-blind journal refereeing, students practise critically evaluating the quality of academic writing using a rubric. The summative assessment is based on how consistent their evaluations are with the evaluations of the same reports performed by their peers. The formative assessment is that students receive peer evaluations and feedback via a rubric on reports that they have written. The skill of critically evaluating their own reports is used to improve the laboratory reports in subsequent assessment tasks.

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