The Relationship between Peer Assessment and the Cognition Hypothesis

Mona Khabiri, Soroush Sabbaghan, Sahar Sabbaghan


It is believed that peer assessment equips learners with a skill set withheld from them by teacher assessments that enhances language learning. However, the benefits of peer assessment are limited to how well learners can conduct peer assessment tasks. Therefore, improving the efficacy of peer assessment is essential. One way to increase the consistency of peer assessment is to increase learner attention during the assessment task. The Cognition Hypothesis states that L2 learners engaged in complex tasks pay attention to more complex linguistic structures; as a result, learning increases (Robinson, 2001a, 2001b, 2005). The purpose of this study was to investigate whether complex tasks, as outlined by the Cognition Hypothesis, improve the accuracy of peer assessment. Thirty female EFL learners conducted three speaking tasks. Each task had a different level of complexity, and participants were assessed by their peers using a rating scale. The results indicated that the absolute mean deviations for the items on the rating scale decreased as task complexity increased. In other words, the findings showed that as task complexity increased, there was more agreement among the assessors. This indicatedthat peer assessment wasmore accurate and consistent for more complex tasks.

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Copyright (c) 2011 Mona Khabiri, Soroush Sabbaghan, Sahar Sabbaghan

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English Language Teaching       ISSN 1916-4742 (Print)   ISSN  1916-4750 (Online)

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