Closing the communications loop on the computerized peer-assessment of essays
The use of self- and peer-assessment is not new to higher education. Traditionally its use has required the complex and time-consuming management of coursework submissions by the tutor, in an attempt to maintain validity and anonymity of the assessment process. In the last few years a number of computerized systems have been developed that are capable of automatically supporting, managing and performing the assessment process. The requirement for student anonymity and the release of the tutor from the process of marking have reduced the ability to develop the iterative process of feedback. This feedback is considered essential in supporting student learning and developing reflective practice. This paper describes the enhancement of a computerized assessment system to support anonymous computer-mediated discussion between marker and marked having previously performed peer-assessment. A detailed description is provided of the integrated assessment process, and an analysis of the use of this anonymous discussion is presented. Anonymous student feedback is presented and analyzed with respect to the perceived benefits of using the system with respect to enhancing the student learning process.