Students’ reception of peer assessment of group-work contributions: problematics in terms of race and gender emerging from a South African case study

Gladman Thondhlana, Dina Zoe Belluigi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Participatory assessment is increasingly employed in higher education worldwide as a formative mechanism to support students’ active learning. But do students in an increasingly relationally diverse environment perceive that peer assessment of individuals’ contributions to group-work tasks enhances their learning? Recognising the impact of students’ conceptions on the quality of their learning, this study considers students’ perspectives of peer assessment of group-work contributions at a South African university. Questionnaires elicited students’ perspectives of and general attitudes towards assessment of and by their peers. A growing measure of discontent with the process of assessing peer contributions to group tasks emerged, including actual and perceived racial and gender stereotyping, and related rejection-sensitivity. These initial findings were checked against the students’ experiences in a report-and-respond process that enabled probing discussions of the interpretations. This paper examines and explores the implications of such identifications and receptions for learning engagement and group-work curriculum development in the context of a rapidly transforming higher education sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1118-1131
Number of pages14
JournalAssessment in Higher Education
Issue number7
Early online date24 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017



  • Diversity
  • gender
  • partiality
  • race
  • rejection-sensitivity
  • higher education

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