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n South African Journal of Higher Education - Towards a learner-centred approach : interactive online peer assessment
The tremendous workload produced by multiple assessments that aim for a learner-centered approach to learning in huge classes and the inability to provide results timeously, often results in lecturers' maintaining teacher-centered approaches to learning even if they appreciate the benefits of learner-centered approaches. One steptoward a learner-centered approach is to incorporate peer assessment. In this study we went one step further and combined peer assessment with e-learning. Interactive online peer assessment can lessen the workload on lecturers and may be an important step towards designing courses that are learner-centered.
In this study we report on the lessons and experiences of an interactive online peer assessment system. An evaluative case-study approach was undertaken. The theoretical underpinning of this study is activity theory. Lecturers monitored and evaluated the progress of the students who undertook this course and this article is a report of the study.
Interactive online peer assessment can be enhanced if support structures and tools are readily available. For interactive online peer assessment to work there needs to be a paradigm shift at an institutional level, at the lecturer level, as well as role clarity, and a willingness on the part of the students to accept a shift in their role in the learningprocess. The outcome of the intervention was generally positive but some of the findings indicated that technical problems experienced during the course by students contributed to their negative attitudes toward interactive online peer assessment.
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