Peer Assessment Framework

The Peer Assessment of Student-Centred Learning

The PASCL peer assessment is based on the tradition of enhancement-led evaluation. Assessment in this context means the aim of supporting higher education institutions to develop their activities in dialogue and interaction with them. The aim of the peer assessment is to help the participating institutions recognize their best practices with regards to student-centred learning and to develop their educational philosophy and practices related to teaching, learning and student participation. The aim is to help the institution to analyze its own practices and to consider ways in which those can be changed, if the institution wants to become more student-centred. The peer assessment process is based on open discussions between the peer assessment team and the participating institution. The biggest benefit to the participating institution is its own contemplation, with the peer assessment team working as a catalyst of this process.
The following definition of student-centred learning adopted by the PASCL partners forms the basis for the PASCL peer assessment.

“Student-Centred Learning represents both a mindset and a culture within a given higher education institution and is a learning approach which is broadly related to, and supported by, constructivist theories of learning. It is characterised by innovative methods of teaching which aim to promote learning in communication with teachers and other learners and which take students seriously as active participants in their own learning, fostering transferable skills such as problem solving, critical thinking and reflective thinking.” (T4SCL Toolkit 2010 ).

The PASCL evaluation process in 4 stages

The PASCL evaluation process comprises four steps: training, preparation of the visit, peer assessment visit and feedback session.

  1. The training aims to provide the peer assessment teams and the representatives of the hosting institutions with the procedures and goals of the peer assessment visits, as well as clarify the philosophy of student-centered learning and enhancement-led evaluation.
  2. In the preparation stage the participating institution prepares a short set of background information for the peer assessment team comprising the description of the institution’s organizational structure and the teaching and learning philosophy.
  3. During the peer assessment visit, the peer assessment team will meet with various actors and stakeholders in the university, such as the institution’s leadership, faculties, quality assurance actors, support services, teachers and students.
  4. After the visit, the peer assessment team will provide the institution with a report focusing on recommendations regarding student centred learning. The report will also function as a basis for a joint feedback session between the peer assessment team and participating institution. The aim of the feedback session, organized either on Skype or in person is to allow the team and the institution to jointly think of ways to implement the recommendations. The session also offers a possibility for the institution to give feedback on the peer assessment process.

Download the Student-Centred Learning Guidelines here

The PASCL pilot visits

In order to ensure the best possible quality of the PASCL process, the project consortium run two pilot visits in April 2015 meant to test and adjust the PASCL framework before proceeding with the set of PASCL peer assessments visits in 2016.

Two UNICA universities volunteered to host PASCL pilot visits and help us improve the Peer Assessment of Students-Centred Learning framework with their own experience: the Nova University of Lisbon and the University of Warsaw.

The visits have been conducted according to the procedures comprised in the draft PASCL Guidelines.
The Peer Assessment team members have been selected from the PASCL Pool of Experts, trained in the First PASCL Training and accompanied by a member of the PASCL consortium.


This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This website reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.