Part of the
Centre for
Engineering Education
TU DelftTU EindhovenUniversity of TwenteWageningen University
Centre for
Engineering Education


+31(0)6 48 27 55 61


Project introduction and background information

With increasing student numbers entering Higher Education across the globe and with an increasing need for flexibility in how education is delivered, lecturers are in need of more digital tools to help them in their teaching. As the recent COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, lecturers must be able to almost seemingly switch between online, blended, flipped classroom (FC), or face-to-face education in the case of on-campus education. At the same time, similar tools are needed to support Work-Based Learning (WBL) and fully online or remote learning.

One area where lecturers can struggle to deal with both the required flexibility and the increasing student numbers is in the area of assessment. At our own institution, for instance, student numbers have increased by over 15% in the last four years. Next to the debatable, all-important grade, it is also important that students are provided with timely feedback on their performance and their deliverables if we want our students to truly learn and mature. However, this can have serious implications for the workload of the lecturers involved.


One pedagogical tool that has been increasingly used to aid with these challenges is peer assessment, where students give each other feedback and assess each other’s work. Research has shown that being able to reflect and give and receive feedback are important transversal skills for engineering students to learn to enhance their employability [1]. Already in 1998, Keith Topping published a literature review on the use of Peer Assessment in Higher Education. He defined PA as:

“an arrangement in which individuals consider the amount, level, value, worth, quality, or success of the products or outcomes of learning of peers of similar status.”     (Topping, 1998, p.250 [2]).

Whereas PA in the 20th Century was very much a paper-based or verbal exercise, these days optimal use can be made of Virtual Learning Environments such as BlackBoard, Brightspace, Canvas or Moodle and the digital software tools available to educators when it comes to using PA.

The workshop on peer assessment is based around an umbrella review of the literature on peer assessment, that provides a comprehensive overview of design choices and their consequences open to educational practitioners wishing to implement digital Peer Assessment in their courses, the type of tooling available and the possible effects of these choices on the learning outcomes as well as potential pitfalls and challenges when implementing Peer Assessment. [3] 

Both the workshop and the literature review are part of the ERASMUS+ project: RAPIDE: on Relevant Assessment and pedagogies for Inclusive Digital Education (


[1] Leandro Cruz, M., “Measurement and Practice of Transversal Competencies in Engineering Education: Evaluation of Perceptions and Stimulation of Reflections of industry, lecturers and students,” 2021. DOI: 10.4233/uuid:730e80b5-e567-494d-8bb2-df8c71e6de69

[2] Topping, K., “Peer Assessment Between Students in Colleges and Universities,” Review of Educational Research, vol. 68, no. 3, pp. 249–276, Sep. 1998, DOI: 10.3102/00346543068003249.

[3] G. V. Helden, V. Van Der Werf, G. N. Saunders-Smits and M. M. Specht, "The Use of Digital Peer Assessment in Higher Education—An Umbrella Review of Literature," in IEEE Access, vol. 11, pp. 22948-22960, 2023, doi: 10.1109/ACCESS.2023.3252914.

Objective and expected outcomes

In this workshop, participants will be introduced to different types of peer assessment that can be used in engineering education, whether face-to-face, hybrid or in a fully online environment and how to do so in an inclusive way thus maintaining the important safe space that education should be. The workshop is and is suitable for anyone who is interested in implementing or improving (digital) Peer Assessment (PA) in their courses.

The main learning outcome at the end of the workshop will be that participants are able to make an informed decision on how to design or select an appropriate form of Peer Assessment for their course. 

Participants will be introduced to the pros and cons of the different methods and which type of PA type is suitable for what educational activity, using some of the case studies developed in the RAPIDE project as an example.  Case studies to be covered are Peer Assessment in terms of reviewing students’ products, peer grading where students grade each other’s work and peer evaluation where students review each other’s performance in group work. Participants will also learn about the requirements digital peer evaluation systems must meet to provide a safe and inclusive learning space as well as meet the various data protection requirements.

Participants will then in small groups discuss what types of peer evaluations they use or want to use in their courses and brainstorm on ideas for implementation in their own specific case or for one of the general cases that the facilitators will have available using the decision cards with design options to create their design.

At the end of the workshop, participants will peer review the design of the other groups under the motto practice-as-you-preach and walk away with a first rough design of a peer assessment.

Results and learnings

We ran the workshop twice: at the SEFI annual conference in Barcelona in September 2022 and at LDE-CEL Annual Event in December of 2022. Both times, the participants loved the workshop, and although initially feeling pressured due to time, they did find it helped them make decisions. They also indicated they learned a lot from each other when discussing which choices to make. Both times the workshop lasted an hour, with the feeling that an additional 15 minutes would have been beneficial.

Many participants asked for the workshop slides and cards to take home so that they could rerun the workshop at their own institution.


The workshop is designed to last no more than 75 minutes and can be as short as 1 hour. Participants must dare to make choices so having time pressure aids that process. Giving more time will not necessarily lead to better results.

We have held the workshop for up to 40 participants in groups of 5-8 in an instruction room setting. It is advisable to have both the case studies and the cards ready as hardcopy per table to speed up the process. It is recommended to have 2-3 facilitators to keep the process flowing.

Practical outcomes

The main learning outcome at the end of the workshop will be that participants are able to make an informed decision on how to design or select an appropriate form of Peer Assessment for their course and walk away with a first draft and resources on how to implement Peer Assessment in their course.

[Image Credits: Mark van Huystee]