Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Peer assessment of oral presentation in an EFL context
by Peng, Jui-ching Fion, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2009, 205; 3380148
Abstract (Summary)

Due to the growing focus on learner independence, peer assessment has received a lion’s share of attention in recent years. Nevertheless, this idea is novel to most English language teachers and students in Taiwan where traditional assessment is still dominant. This study investigated college students’ attitudes towards and possible language proficiency differences in peer assessment in an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) context. Comparisons of correlations between teacher and peer grading were made. The benefits and weaknesses of peer assessment, as well as the teacher’s perceptions to this assessment method were examined within the context of oral presentation, since relatively few studies had examined this facet.

Eighty-eight college EFL learners and one teacher participated in the study. At the beginning of the semester, the students were provided some training on peer assessment. They had opportunities to discuss assessment criteria with the teacher and practice evaluating their peers before the peer assessment activities. A five-point Likert scale survey was administered before and after the implementation of peer assessment. Other instruments included open-ended questionnaires, written reflections, peer evaluation and feedback forms, within-group peer assessment forms, emails and interviews.

In terms of attitudes, the results of the pre- and post-surveys suggested that both high- and low-intermediate students reacted positively to peer assessment. Their attitudes became significantly more positive after experiencing peer assessment. With respect to grading, the high-intermediate students’ scores did not have stronger agreement with the teacher’s than the low-intermediate students’ scores. In fact, the low-intermediate students’ grading had, on average, a closer similarity with the teacher’s. The reported benefits and weaknesses were organized and discussed according to the coding scheme. The teacher also had favorable perceptions of peer assessment. She would incorporate this assessment method into her future classes especially in group work. Yet, she had some reservations about extensively integrating peer assessment into English curricula owing to the issues of time and class size.

This study concludes that, with careful planning and training, peer assessment is a viable alternative assessment in higher education. The research also provides teachers with pedagogical implications for using peer assessment in EFL classrooms.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mikulecky, Larry
Commitee: Flinders, David, Johnston, Bill, Pawan, Faridah
School: Indiana University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 70/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Language arts, Educational tests & measurements, English as a Second Language, Higher education
Keywords: EFL, EFL context, Language assessment, Oral presentation, Peer assessment
Publication Number: 3380148
ISBN: 978-1-109-50458-3
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