Telling It Like It Is: Oral Presentations and Peer Assessment for Business Law Students
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As academics, we are constantly encouraged to devise assessment tasks that engage students. Much research has been conducted into devising assessment that is for learning, rather than of learning. In three business law units over the past three years, one assessment task that has been utilised is that of an oral presentation which is assessed by the presenter’s peers, and in some cases, by the tutor as well. One of the reasons this method of assessment was chosen was that having to assess your peers and be assessed by them is a realistic mode of assessment since in working environments, many of us have to present in a group and may be assessed, formally or informally, by our peers. Assessing someone else can also be one of the best ways of learning about ourselves. This paper reflects on the research with regard to peer assessment as both a formative and a summative assessment tool. It observes how the peer assessment tasks in Curtin Law School have been informed by research, and concludes that overall, peer assessment is positive for student learning, provided that it is utilised within certain well-defined parameters. It is hoped that this paper will lead to further investigation into developing a peer assessment approach that can be applied to engage students across many disciplines.
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