Grading 600+ students: A Case Study on Peer and Self Grading

Maurício Aniche, Frank Mulder, Felienne Hermans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Grading large classes has become a challenging and expensive task for many universities. The Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), located in the Netherlands, has observed a large increase in student numbers over the past few years. Given the large growth of the student population, grading all the submissions results in high costs. We made use of self and peer grading in the 2018-2019 edition of our software testing course. Students worked in teams of two, and self and peer graded three assignments in our course. We ended up with 906 self and peer graded submissions, which we compared to 248 submissions that were graded by our TAs. In this paper, we report on the differences we observed between self, peer, and TA grading. Our findings show that: (i) self grades tend to be 8-10% higher than peer grades on average, (ii) peer grades seem to be a good approximator of TA grades; in cases where self and peer grade differ significantly, the TA grade seems to lie in between, and (iii) the gender and the nationality of the student do not seem to affect self and peer grading.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2021 IEEE/ACM 43rd International Conference on Software Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationJoint Track on Software Engineering Education and Training, ICSE-JSEET 2021
EditorsL. O'Conner
Place of PublicationPiscataway
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780738133201
ISBN (Print)978-1-6654-0138-8
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event43rd International Conference on Software Engineering: Joint Track on Software Engineering Education and Training - Virtual/online event due to COVID-19, Virtual at Madrid, Spain
Duration: 25 May 202128 May 2021
Conference number: 43

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Software Engineering
ISSN (Print)0270-5257


Conference43rd International Conference on Software Engineering
Abbreviated titleICSE-JSEET 2021
CityVirtual at Madrid
OtherVirtual/online event due to COVID-19

Bibliographical note

Accepted author manuscript


  • computer science education
  • peer grading
  • self grading


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