e-ISSN 2231-8542
ISSN 1511-3701

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Peer Assessment in Higher Education: Using Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions to Identify Perspectives of Malaysian Chinese Students

Phaik Kin Cheah, Fong Wei Diong and Yee Onn Yap

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 26, Issue 3, September 2018

Keywords: Evaluation, marking, measurement, mass communication, Malaysia

Published on: 28 Sep 2018

Peer assessments have been widely used as a method of assessment and teaching. Earlier studies have established its benefits and validity in higher education as a learner-centered assessment and learning process. However, there is little investigation conducted from the cultural perspective, especially in a non-Western setting. The present study aims to fill this gap by using Hofstede's cultural theory to identify the perspectives of Malaysian Chinese undergraduates on peer assessment. A homogeneous sample of 43 Malaysian Chinese students from a private university in Malaysia who were pursuing a degree program in mass communication participated in focus group discussions. Using thematic analysis, six themes were generated from the data. This study found that participants displayed high power distance, high levels of uncertainty avoidance, and preference for long-term gains. The participants' perception fit into Hofstede's collectivist and feminist dimensions. Results showed that undergraduates perceived teachers to be more qualified in awarding scores compared to peers. Students considered awarding higher scores to those whom they considered as friends, and higher marks to peers who were popular. They also displayed face-saving behaviors to avoid embarrassing their peers in giving them feedback. By using peer assessments, there was increased motivation and responsibility toward the project. Students also appreciated peer feedback for long-term self-improvement.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

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