Use of peer assessment as a student engagement strategy in nurse education

Nurs Health Sci. 2011 Dec;13(4):514-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-2018.2011.00637.x. Epub 2011 Sep 22.


This paper describes how peer assessment was implemented in an undergraduate nursing program in Ireland to enhance student engagement, and reports students' (n=37) experiences of the process. The process involved second year Bachelor of Nursing Science students developing marking criteria and marking two of their colleagues' assignments anonymously. A qualitative descriptive design using focus group interviews was used to collect data on students' experiences. Demographic data were collected through questionnaires. The analysis identified three themes: (i) impact on student engagement; (ii) challenges of peer assessment; and (iii) making it better. The findings revealed that most students enjoyed the process, and that peer assessment facilitates and enhances student engagement. The findings also provide evidence to support the self-regulation theory of learning. A detailed account of the methods used to implement peer assessment is also provided, which might be useful for other nurse educators seeking to implement peer assessment at an undergraduate level.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Curriculum
  • Education
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate / methods*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Ireland
  • Learning
  • Male
  • Peer Group*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Schools, Nursing*
  • Self Report
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Young Adult