Self and peer assessment in organisations

The learning people gain with Oasis isn’t only measured externally by what others think, but by what the learner understands.

Oasis has over 25 years’ experience introducing self and peer assessment methods to individuals, groups and organisations.

Within Oasis staff, directors, associates and one-to-one developers undertake self and peer assessment as part of our commitment to peer working and learning. And we support its implementation in organisations and companies looking to move toward a more peer-based way of working.

How it works

North Star Housing Group, based in Stockton-on-Tees, is made up of Endeavour and Teesdale Housing Associations working in partnership to provide affordable, high quality social housing. Its Senior Management Team is self directing and collaborative. The team engaged with self and peer assessment as part of their ongoing development.

The self and peer assessment process is valuable in and of itself. The first step is for each person in the team to identify their individual learning goals, starting from where they are and tracking back to identify what they have learned in relation to the self, their role and their own development, in terms of work, management of work and wider attitudes and beliefs.

Reviewing learning alone gives the chance to consider what has been accomplished and what future aspirations might be, before being influenced by the considerations of others.

By reviewing missed opportunities and habits that stopped the fulfilment of ambitions it is possible to consider how to change patterns and limiting beliefs in the future.

But more important is the affirmation of the learning that has been achieved and the steps that have been taken.

Once each person has reviewed their own learning, they share their ideas with a colleague, discussing their main questions, trying things out and getting feedback to ensure a balanced view.

Each member of the team then chooses others to assess their claim – those they work closely with, plus line managers, clients and others with an objective view.

During the assessment the individual presents their claim, including evidence, and receives feedback from the others in the assessment group.

The others in the group help the person making the claim by clarifying, challenging, verifying, remembering, sharpening up, ensuring specificity, ensuring claims are not under- or over-rated, enhancing, looking beyond, appreciating, validating and honouring.

Evidence for the claim comes from examples of changes to how each person’s way of working has changed, how they achieved the change and when, where and how they are using their learning. Group members corroborate then claim based on the specific examples given.

How it works in an organisation

As part of an organisational development process North Star middle managers have also begun personal and team development programme which involved Self and Peer Assessment.

Each worked out their individual development needs and gathered views from their peers and line managers. Oasis co-director Claire Maxwell provided structure for the process – advising on the kind of questions to ask.

Carole Richardson, Assistant Director of People Services for North Star, said: “It worked really well and was the right balance between challenge, support and questioning.”

Learning objectives and goals for the coming year have been set and others in the organisation have begun to get a taste of self and peer assessment – alongside the formal appraisal process.

Carole added: “We all found that there was a real value in identifying your own needs, what matters to you and putting some work into working out why that was.”

People have found that by identifying their own development needs and sharing them with others, each has a far stronger stake in what they are working on, rather than simply doing what they have been told to do.

Carole said: “Working on my learning objective has made me so much more efficient and productive, which has benefits for me and for others.”

The organisation is now working on questions of how self and peer assessment can live within it: throughout the organisation, or different in different parts? How can they build in enough active expectation of people to engage in giving and seeking feedback? And what are the steps needed to achieve that goal?

Find out more

To find out more about self and peer assessment in your organisation contact us or call us on 01937 541700.