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Research at St Andrews

Relationships between student characteristics and self-, peer and tutor evaluations of oral presentations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A. Mark Langan, David Michael Shuker, W. Rod Cullen, David Penney, Richard F. Preziosi, C. Philip Wheater

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There are many influences on how assessors grade themselves and others. Oral presentations are useful for exploring such factors in peer, self- and tutor marked assessments, being rapidly completed and assessed, commonly used in HE and very difficult to anonymize. This opportunistic study examined the effects of gender and level of attainment on the triangulation of marks awarded to student presenters. Grades generated by peer assessment were associated more strongly with tutor-awarded marks than those from self- assessment. For self- assessment there was a strong effect of gender (female students undervalued their performance compared with tutor grades). Peer assessment produced higher marks than from tutors, perhaps because of the close-knit community developed during residential courses. For tutor marks, the greatest variability was at the lower end of the scale, whereas peer assessors were most variable when marking students who self- evaluated or peer assessed highly. Students awarded a narrower range of marks to peers compared with tutors, but when self- assessing used a larger range. Presentations by students who admitted to little sleep the night before received lower grades from both peers and tutors, but this was not reflected by self- assessments, suggesting they were unaware of their poorer performances. Sessions with fewer talks (four rather than seven) reduced the 'dip' in marks previously observed in the middle of sessions. Findings are discussed in the context of bias in this mode of assessment.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-190
Number of pages12
JournalAssessment & Evaluation in Higher Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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