INFLUENCE OF PEER ASSESSMENT ON STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT IN ENGLISH ESSAY WRITING
The poor performance of students in essay writing has raised a lot of concern to teachers of English language and other stake holders in education. Poor performance in essay writing leads to poor performance in English language and this will consequently hinder students’ ambition for higher studies and job opportunities. This study was designed to find out the influence of peer assessment on students achievement in English essay writing in Owerri Zone 1 of Imo state. The study also sought the effect of gender and location on students achievement in English essay writing. Five research questions and five hypotheses guided the study. The design was a non equivalent control group quasi-experimental design involving the use of intact classes for experimental and control groups. Four schools in Owerri Zone 1 educational zone were selected by purposive random sampling technique. The population comprised of all SS11 students. The sample for the study was 167 students drawn from one intact class of each of the four schools selected. The English Essay Achievement Test (EEAT) was adopted as the instrument for data collection. Lesson plans for the experimental and control groups were developed validated and used for the pretest and the post- test assessments. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions while analysis of covariance was used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 alpha level of significance. Major findings of the study was that students taught English essay writing using peer assessment performed better than students with teacher assessments. It was also found that female students had a higher mean score than their male counterparts. Based on these findings, it was recommended that stakeholders in education administration incorporate peer assessment in the curriculum to facilitate teaching and learning. Teachers of English language should be trained and retrained to enable them engage students in peer assessments activities.