Reports examining graduate employment issues suggest that employers are concerned by the lack of employability skills exhibited by entry‐level job applications. It is also suggested that employers consider it the responsibility of educational institutions to develop such skills. The current study seeks to identify peer assessment as a potential strategy for developing employability skills and aims to examine – from a students' perspective – the process of introducing peer assessment into higher education teaching programmes.
The focus of the study was on the assessment of students' attitudes towards both being assessed by and assessing other students' work. Data were gathered from a sample of undergraduate students following a structured peer assessment exercise.
In line with previous work, the study found that students expressed a positive attitude towards peer assessment but had concerns relating to their capability to assess peers and to the responsibility associated with assessing peers.
Results suggest that, whilst students would accept peer assessment as an element of their course, its introduction at least should focus on the development of evaluative skills (i.e. emphasising learning rather than assessment) and provide support to alleviate an onerous sense of responsibility. It is concluded that, if the value of peer assessment – in terms of employability skill development – is accepted, then it should be adopted as regular practice on undergraduate programmes wishing to equip students with a complete repertoire of employment‐relevant skills.
The paper provides useful information on developing employability skills among students in higher education through peer assessment.
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