Design based tasks have the potential to encourage students to establish and make explicit their views and beliefs. Requiring students to establish their own assessment criteria introduces uncertainty; risk; and confusion into the process of learning. Establishing what is of value now becomes the primary concern for the learner in a quest to demonstrate their capability within a personal view of the subject domain.
This study implemented a constructivist approach to learning in a design based task focused on the development of design; craft and processing skills. The method employed a peer assessment strategy through the use of an Adaptive Comparative Judgement (ACJ) model of assessment that required students to democratically assess the work of their peers. Assessment criteria were not made explicit; as students were encouraged to present their own conception of capability developed throughout the learning activity.
The significance of the study was highlighted by the reaction of the students to their dual role as learner and assessor and how this affected their learning. The empirical evidence collected highlights the importance of empathy as a mediator when developing critical reflective practise. The study outlines the cultural impact of democratic peer assessment on initial teacher education students while establishing what to value within their subject domain.
Keywords: Values; Democratic Assessment; Technology Education; Capability