MOCKFORD, C.D., 1994. The merits of peer group review as a component in the assessment of design and technology project work in education. IDATER 1994 Conference, Loughborough University
With the expansion of Higher Education, a number of institutional and national initiatives have
encouraged the development of flexible approaches to teaching and learning. Methods which are used
for the assessment of student performance have increasingly become a focus of attention. An important
aspect of these methods concerns the provision of effective and efficient strategies for delivering high
quality feedback to students, communicating performance levels and supportive advice.
In Technology education, a well established research strand has focused attention towards the assessment
of design and technology capability, particularly linked to school based activities and examination
performance. This assessment has concentrated largely on orthodox, formal methods.
The work that this paper reports concerns a small scale investigation and evaluation of the technique of
peer group review in the assessment of design and technology project work. A cohort of fifty first year
undergraduate students of a course Industrial Design and Technology was involved in the assessment
of four practical design coursework projects which they had submitted.
Two particular aspects of peer group review are considered: the validity of student assessment in relation
to parallel judgements made by academic staff; the perceptions which undergraduate students hold
regarding the benefits and difficulties of this system of assessment. The paper seeks to identify the potential
contribution that the technique of peer group review could make towards more effective and efficient
assessment of design and technology project work from student and staff perspectives.