Enhancing Practical Assessments with Peer Evaluation

Peer Assessment for Practicums 

When people think of peer-assessments, they typically associate it with written work that revolves around discussion posts, reflections, and various types of reports. However, peer assessment has proven to be incredibly versatile and can be utilized in a number of applied courses and activities. For example, courses such as nursing, music, physical therapy, and labs typically require an applied component of study, sometimes referred to as practicums. 

Unfortunately due to COVID, a lot of these courses can no longer run these invaluable practicums, resulting in students being assigned written work as an alternative. To combat this, Kritik allows students to upload a variety of different attachments, including videos of presentations, script readings, clinical roleplays, musical performances, and more. We know how important these practicums are for preparing students to enter the workforce, which is why we strive to ensure they have the opportunity to participate in them regardless of whether class is in-person or online.

Benefits of Practical Assessments on Kritik

1. Opportunity for Self and Peer Assessment 

By submitting videoed assignments on Kritik, students are given the unique opportunity for both self-assessment and peer assessment. In one study, students in a practical diagnosis course uploaded videos of themselves performing a physical examination. Students reported that by recording themselves, they were able to self-assess their practicum before receiving peer feedback, which made them more aware of their strengths and weaknesses in verbal and nonverbal communication (Sadowski et 2020).

Students are then able to evaluate their peers' work, which helps them improve their critical thinking and analytical skills. Once feedback is given, students can self-assess their performance one last time with the goal of reflecting on the input from their peers. This holistic approach to evaluating videos “engages and forces critical thinking in both video creators as well as video assessors” (Burrows & Borowczak, 2016).

“By allowing students to give and receive peer feedback, I’m giving them extensions on their learning too.” - Prof. Whitney Sutherland see more here..

2. Database of Material for Review 

Kritik provides students with a collection of materials and feedback that they can access whenever they need to, even after the course is finished. Whether students want to review content for upcoming tests, co-op interviews, or post-graduation employment, they will always have access to all their work and feedback. In addition to this, students also maintain access to their peers' work, which allows them to compare it to their own and continue analyzing it even after the assignment is completed. This encourages students to continue identifying areas of improvement and things done well that they can implement in their own future work.

3. Peer-Assessment is More Accurate Through Kritik 

By videoing practical assessments for peer evaluation, students can analyze their peers' performance more accurately. Students can rewatch, rewind, and pause their peer's videos as much as they need, enabling them to provide the best possible feedback and preventing them from missing anything. In addition, Kritik ensures that student grading is fair and accurate with our calibration feature

This unique feature allows students to have varying levels of grading power based on how close they grade to their professor's expectations. By giving students a measure of their evaluation skills and gamifying it, it encourages them to put more effort into their reviews which facilitates a greater understanding of the material.

“Through the gamified system, the students themselves want to become better reviewers; they can see their progress in real-time via the stars and badges system Kritik uses to encourage engagement." - Prof. Kelly Morse

Examples of Practical Activities for Peer Assessment

1. Clinical Roleplays

Courses in the medical profession; including nursing, physical therapy, and surgery, often contain components of practical assessment. Things such as demonstrating proper bedside manners and assessing the range of motion in a patient's joints are just two possible examples of many. To illustrate the benefits of recording these activities for peer assessment, a study was done with nursing students roleplaying a therapeutic consultation. The nursing students found the feedback they received to be helpful and the study concluded that peer assessment helped enhance communication skills (Chin-Yuan, 2016).

Want to learn more? Professor Denise Mendenhall from the University of Missouri also uses Kritik in her nursing courses to effectively assess her students' communication skills. 

2. Musical and Theatrical Performances

It’s important to receive feedback on these types of performances, especially when the works are composed by the students themselves. When it comes to original compositions, there is not a definitive set of rules to follow, unlike demonstrating lab safety as in our earlier examples. This makes receiving peer feedback exponentially more beneficial, as it can be difficult to self-assess the strong points and areas for improvement in your own work.

3. Verbal Communication

Verbal assessments can include anything from presentations, marketing pitches, and speaking in a foreign/second language. In particular, when it comes to foreign languages, findings have shown that formative peer assessment can effectively improve a student's language proficiency (Zheng et al., 2021). By having students video themselves in a second language, they can self-assess and take the time to figure out what parts were well-spoken and what parts were not. Students then receive feedback from their peers which helps them catch any mistakes they may have originally overlooked. In addition, by analyzing their peers, students gain an even better understanding of the language than they would in a typical class environment. 


Practical assessments are essential to a large range of courses and help students prepare for the workforce. Videoing these practicums for peer assessment can help enhance students' practical skills as well as reduce their anxiety when performing them in person (Sadowski et 2020). To ensure that students get the most out of their practicums and are receiving specific and accurate feedback, educators should consider using online peer assessment. Connect with us here to learn more about how you can enhance your LMS with Kritik!


Borowczak, M., & Burrows, A. C. (2016). Enabling collaboration and video assessment: Exposing trends in science preservice teachers’ assessments. Contemporary Issues in Technology & Teacher Education, 16(2). https://citejournal.org/volume-16/issue-2-16/science/enabling-collaboration-and-video-assessment-exposing-trends-in-science-preservice-teachers-assessments

Chin-Yuan L. (2016). Training nursing students' communication skills with online video peer assessment, Computers & Education, Volume 97, 2016, Pages 21-30,ISSN 0360-1315,https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2016.02.017.

Sadowski, C. , Dickerson, L. & Taylor, L. (2020). Student Self-Assessments and Peer Assessments of Video Recordings of Physical Examination Practicums in a Physical Diagnosis Course. The Journal of Physician Assistant Education, 31 (2), 85-90. doi: 10.1097/JPA.0000000000000302.

Wu, C.-C., & Kao, H.-C. (2008). Streaming Videos in Peer Assessment to Support Training Pre-service Teachers. Educational Technology & Society, 11 (1), 45-55

Zheng, C, Wang, L & Chai, CS (2021) Self-assessment first or peer-assessment first: effects of video-based formative practice on learners’ English public speaking anxiety and performance, Computer Assisted Language Learning, DOI: 10.1080/09588221.2021.1946562

Sara Chen
Education Researcher