A Self-Organised Assessment Method (SOAM)
A few year ago, I was a bit curious about how well learners can evaluate each other. I designed a small experiment to find out. It goes like this:
- Take a group of learners, say 15 in number, in a classroom.
- Give everybody 15 sheets of paper and ask them to write their names on the top right corner of every sheet.
- Now, ask everyone to write down a question about something they have recently learned, been taught or discussed. It should be from whatever course you are conducting. The question should be such that the person making it should be confident of answering. Also questions should be such that each can be answered in two minutes or less.
- Now collect all the sheets with the questions. If there are questions that are very similar to each other, then ask one of the authors to change his or her question.
- You can now construct a question paper with 15 questions. Make 15 copies of this question paper.
- Distribute the question paper and start a 30 minutes examination. Each learner has to write the answer to each of the 15 questions on a separate sheet of paper. On top of each answer sheet, they should write 'Answer to Q no. x' etc. Each person must answer all the questions except the one they made. So each person has 14 questions to answer on 14 sheets of paper.
- After the time is over, collect all the answer sheets and put all the answers to question 1 together, all the answers to question 2 together, and so on. At the end, you would have 15 piles of 14 sheets each.
- Distribute all the answers to question 1 to the author of that question, answers to question 2 to the author of that quesiton and so on.
- Ask each learner to give marks out of 10 for each answer sheet for the question authored by him/her.
- After all the answer sheets have been graded, take them back and re-group them by the name of each learner. So, now you have 15 piles of 14 sheets each, for each learner.
- Total the marks for each learner and convert to a percent score. You now have a list of scores.
In other words, you have conducted an examination without making a question paper and without having to mark a pile of answer books.
I tried this for three years in the course I teach on Educational Technology for M.Ed. Students, each time usually after the first two weeks. There is an uncanny correlation between the scores and the scores at the end of the one year course. I haven't yet done all the stats and written it all up as a paper but I will.
In the meanwhile, I thought you might like to try....