Intra-group peer review

What is intra-group?

Peer review is the practice of having a student assessed by one or more other students. It can be used in many situations to meet various objectives. Thus, this method will give rise to feedback. This feedback can either be focused on the outcome of the work or on the working processes (Elliott, 20051).


Peer assessments providing feedback on a production, assignment or performance.

Intra-group valuation

Peer evaluations giving feedback on the attitude, work processes of group members.
We therefore call this method intra-group because it allows us to evaluate the attitude of one's peers within a group. In this way, it is possible to assess skills that are generally difficult for teachers to grasp, "soft-skills", i.e. human and behavioural skills (Kennedy, 20062).

The educational benefits of the method

Intra-group evaluation by assessing soft skills trains these skills. As these skills are centred on teamwork and collaboration, they are closely linked to the professional world and therefore prepare students for it (Conway, 19933). Also, in group work, it is common for one or more students to get carried away and take advantage of the work of others. Their presence generates frustration and a feeling of inequity among students who are more involved in the group. However, by implementing intra-group assessment, the pressure of assessment reduces the amount of free riders within groups (Conway 19933 ; Kench 20094).
Finally, intra-group peer assessment will also increase students' motivation for their projects and allow for longer-term memory. But all these benefits will be modulated by how the assessment is implemented.

Points to consider

There are a number of issues to consider in applying the method so that students can fully benefit from these advantages.


Define the purpose of the evaluation

Is it purely formative or does it also have a summative purpose? With this method, one can match the grade that a group has achieved to the investment of each individual in a group - based on their perceived investment by their peers. By doing this, the perception of fairness through shared effort will be reinforced, which will increase students' satisfaction and investment in the process.

item 2

Preceded the evaluation by a group meeting

By holding a meeting between students before the intra-group evaluation, a more consensual and therefore more valid evaluation is achieved.

item 3

Integrate a self-assessment

By including a self-evaluation - an evaluation of one's own investment in the group - in the evaluation, a more valid evaluation is obtained.

point 4

Group size

The evaluation will be better if the number of people in a group corresponds to the standards in education, i.e. 4 or 5 people maximum.

point 5


Scheduling an intra-group assessment in the middle of an activity allows students to take feedback from their group mates, which improves performance and reduces the number of free riders detected by an intra-group assessment at the end of the activity.

Defining an evaluation method

As with all other forms of valuation, the quality of the intra-group valuation will depend to a large extent on the method used to value. There are two methods for this: holistic - global - and criterion-referenced valuation.

The criterion-referenced method

The preferred method for its completeness and validity will be the criterion-based method. To do this, it is either possible to co-construct the grid with the students in order to increase their investment, or to use a valid grid to evaluate the attitude of the students in the group work.


The holistic method

The simple holistic evaluation, i.e. giving a global appreciation of the attitude, of the investment of a peer in a group, is an invalid method. Nevertheless, it is possible to attach indicators, so this method will be more valid and formative.



Bibliography :

1 Elliott, N., & Higgins, A. (2005). Self and peer assessment - does it make a difference to student group work? Nurse Education in Practice, 5(1), 40-48. doi:10.1016/j.nepr.2004.03.004

2 Kennedy, G. J. (2005, January). Peer-assessment in group projects: is it worth it? In Proceedings of the 7th Australasian conference on Computing education-Volume 42 (pp. 59-65).

3 Conway, R., Kember, D., Sivan, A., & Wu, M. (1993). Peer assessment of an individual's contribution to a group project. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 18 (1), 45-56.

4 Kench, P. L., Field, N., Agudera, M., & Gill, M. (2009). Peer assessment of individual contributions to a group project: Student perceptions. Radiography, 15(2), 158-165.d oi:10.1016/j.radi.2008.04.004