Getting Started with Kritik and Peer Assessment

So, you’ve decided to adopt Kritik to implement peer assessment in your course. Our team is here to provide support to you and your students along the way.

In the meantime, we’ve compiled answers and tips for professors new to peer assessment. 

What is peer assessment?

Peer assessment activities involve students evaluating one another's work following instructor criteria. Compared to traditional learning (e.g. individual assignments graded directly by a TA or instructor), peer assessment introduces a new dimension of interactive learning, or learning by teaching.

Through Kritik, instructors optimize the online teaching and learning experience and get students more involved and engaged in their learning. We know peer assessment can be difficult to implement because of the organization and management involved with having students assess a range of their peers. Whether you teach 12 students or 1200 students, implementing peer assessment with Kritik will be an efficient and meaningful experience for students and professors alike.

What are the benefits of peer assessment?

A 2020 study on the impact of peer assessment on academic performance highlights the positive correlation between effective peer assessment activities and students’ academic performance in all levels (Double, McGrane & Hopfenbeck, 2020). Research concludes that peer assessment is more effective and formative in students’ learning experience compared to no assessment or teacher assessment (Double, McGrane & Hopfenbeck, 2020). Moreover, the findings suggest that peer assessment can be integrated across a variety of different subject areas, for different assignment types, and across different education levels (Double, McGrane & Hopfenbeck, 2020).

 Here's some ways that peer assessment can help you and your students:

  • Save time: As instructors, you will experience more efficient grading processes as students will be able to effectively assess each other's work without waiting for instructors or TAs.
  • Empower students: Peer assessment increases student engagement, as they actively learn and take responsibility for their own learning (Awan, 2021). Dr. Michael Jones, Professor at Sheridan College and Kritik user, notes that anonymous feedback has allowed students to develop a personal voice and forge their own connections with coursework.
“[The students’] style really does develop and it becomes a very personal style and a personal voice and that’s the whole point. I think a lot of the students really enjoyed seeing other people’s work because it is especially in this kind of online pandemic space that everyone is isolated in their own bubble and you want to have some sort of authentic connection.”
  • Develop soft skills: Students will develop their creative problem-solving, communication, and teamwork skills by completing these inherently collaborative tasks, which are necessary in academic, professional, and personal environments
  • Build critical and higher order thinking skills: Increased engagement and active learning through peer assessment will help students process and apply course learnings at a greater capacity

To read more about peer assessment and its benefits, read our article here. For further reading, check out 6 ways peer assessment can enhance students' online learning experience.

How can you best integrate peer assessments with Kritik?

Explain the benefits of peer assessment and why you’re integrating it into your coursework.

Students tend to feel less motivated to complete assignments that they don’t understand the purpose of. After enrolling your students, take time to communicate your course objectives and desired learning outcomes while using Kritik.

Students who have never heard about Kritik may view it as just another “homework platform,” but explaining the benefits of peer assessment and how our features facilitate peer-to-peer learning will help students better understand why they are using Kritik for your course.

Integrate peer assessment with previously-used assignments.

Particularly for professors new to Kritik, consider modifying previous assignments to include peer assessment. Our intuitive platform allows you to easily create activities, as well as automatically create groups and distribute evaluations across small, medium, and large classes.

Here are 7 ways to implement peer assessment into your online assignments. For example, students can submit their essay outlines and drafts for peer evaluation. 

Book a product demo with our professor success specialists to learn how to best use Kritik for your curriculum.

Set up a calibration activity

Before you start, set up a calibration activity for your students to complete. Setting up a calibration activity before you deliver assignments will level your students’ grading power. A calibration activity will help you understand the starting level of evaluation for each of your students by measuring students’ evaluation scores compared to what you, the instructor, would be grading each assignment. Our Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm will adjust the grading score over the course of the semester to allow you and the students to see how they are improving.

Read more about Calibration Activities through our Help Center.

Provide longer submission periods for the first activity.

Flexibility will increase adaptability! After creating an activity, you can schedule each stage based on the amount of work involved. Since there are three stages, there will be three deadlines to pay attention to; don’t worry, though, Kritik sends an email notification to students whenever a deadline is approaching! We recommend setting an extended deadline for all three stages for your first activity to allow you and your students time to familiarize yourselves with the platform.

Did you know that you can set a grace period for creations, as well as accept late submissions past the grace period? Setting deadlines or even extending them will allow you to see how your students are using the app, as well as provide space to clarify issues and questions with using Kritik.

Read more from our Help Center about scheduling activities and allowing late submissions

Use a rubric to provide clarity and direction to students.

Rubrics drastically improve the peer evaluation process for students and allow them to understand exactly what it takes to succeed in a particular activity. Research shows that teaching students how to evaluate work using rubrics for peer and self-assessment is beneficial to academic performance (Reddy & Andrade, 2010).

Interested in learning more about the rubric manager? Here's a Help Center article about creating and editing rubrics.

Read more about criteria that you could use in your rubrics to facilitate effective peer assessment.

Why peer assessment… and why with Kritik?

Peer assessment aided by technology provides new ways to improve engagement, efficiency, and accountability in teaching and learning. Not only do students perform better academically when they are more engaged, but increased student engagement also encourages instructors to innovate teaching deliverables in order to yield high academic results (Errey & Wood, 2011). Peer assessment alone, won’t achieve these benefits. It must be executed effectively, and in a way that improves the professor experience, rather than adding more work. That’s where Kritik comes in. 

With Kritik, both instructors and students have something to gain through the integration of peer assessment both academically and personally.

Awan, O. A. (2021). Peer to Peer Learning: Its Importance and Benefits. Academic Radiology, 28(5), 747–748.

Double, K. S., McGrane, J. A., & Hopfenbeck, T. N. (2020). The Impact of Peer Assessment on Academic Performance: A Meta-analysis of Control Group Studies. Educational Psychology Review, 32(2), 481–509.

Errey, R., & Wood, G. (2011). Lessons from a Student Engagement Pilot Study: Benefits for Students and Academics. The Australian Universities’ Review, 53(1), 21–34.

Reddy, Y. M., & Andrade, H. (2010). A review of rubric use in higher education. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 35(4), 435–448.

Virginia Li
Education Researcher