Also at the ‘More effective assessment and feedback’ meeting on Wednesday, Simon Bates spoke about the use of ‘Peerwise’ at the University of Edinburgh. Peerwise (see http://peerwise.cs.auckland.ac.nz/) enables students to write their own assessment questions, and to share and discus them with their colleagues. Physics students at Edinburgh have written some excellent and imaginative questions. Simon rightly described the work as exciting and typically of the Edinburgh Physics Education Research Group, they are trying to evaluate its impact. So far they have found that students who engage with Peerwise are likely to do better than those who don’t . This is hardly surprising – better motivated students are likely both to engage with Peerwise and to do better. More surprising is the fact that students at all levels seem to benefit – it’s not just the best or the weakest. Most students also seem to like Peerwise.
I was excited and intrigued by Simon’s talk and look forward to hearing more. I can see that writing your own e-assessment questions will be a fun and motivating experience for students. But how much do they really learn in doing this? Is it really assessment? I’m not sure.