Accounting students’ experiences of peer assessment: A tool to develop lifelong learning

Published in: South African Journal of Accounting Research
Volume 32, issue 2-3, 2018 , pages: 205–224
DOI: 10.1080/10291954.2018.1487503
Author(s): Marelize MalanDepartment of Accountancy, College of Business and Economics, South Africa, Nerine StegmannDepartment of Accountancy, College of Business and Economics, South Africa


The accounting profession highlights lifelong learning as a vital fundamental competency. Peer assessment, self-assessment and self-directedness contribute to the development of lifelong learning skills. These interrelated skills should be fostered through higher education programmes, requiring intentional interventions. Peer assessment is regarded as an under-utilised intervention in the undergraduate accounting programme of South African universities. In order to assess the experience of students of a peer assessment intervention, students were required to mark the assignment of a peer and provide him or her with feedback. The peer was then allowed to attempt to improve on the assignment, based on feedback: a ‘review – revise – resubmit’ approach. The research is based on a mixed methods design called concurrent triangulation. It was found that students recognised the value of peer assessment in contributing to their ability to learn independently, take responsibility for their own learning, assume the position of a peer assessor and self-assess, all aspects ascribed to self-directedness. The research furthermore found that peer assessment could enhance students’ understanding of the assessment process and stimulate collaborative learning, both aspects impacting the development of lifelong learning skills needed for future academic development and application in professional careers.

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