Using Kritik for Small Class Sizes

In the past year 76% of Kritik users used Kritik in at least one course with less than 20 students.

Peer assessment improves student engagement, builds confidence, critical thinking and soft skills, increases the amount of feedback each student receives and reduces the grading and administrative burden of professors. While these benefits of Kritik are attractive to address challenges of professors with larger class sizes, they are not lost on courses with small student sizes.

In fact, there are opportunities with smaller classes to use Kritik to explore peer assessment in more intimate ways, enabling students and professors to spend more time going over expectations, opportunities for improvement and even address challenges that arise with open and honest dialogue. 

Peer assessment presents value - and unique opportunities to enhance learning - in large and small class sizes alike. 

 Small-Group Collaboration

In large class sizes, professors will use the feature included in Kritik to assign groups and assign feedback inter and intragroup. More specifically, students will work together on a task, or assignment and will use Kritik to provide meaningful and critical feedback to one another inside the group, and also use Kritik to compare the work of different groups.

This feature is not limited to large class sizes and can be harnessed and implemented in smaller class sizes too. In fact, with smaller class sizes, students and instructors have the flexibility to take their learning and reflection gained through Kritik into the live classroom environment for further discussion - in person and via video conferencing depending on the format of the course. 

Small class sizes allow for more intimate conversation and reflection on the peer assessment process

With small class sizes, the professor or TA can check in more frequently with the entire class to understand how the peer assessment process is going, what challenges or concerns students may be having, and the main areas of value identified by the class. 

These honest and intimate conversations not only ensure students remain aligned throughout the term, or semester, it provides feedback for the instructor as well, to continue to iterate and improve the process over time. By having these conversations, students will feel empowered in their learning because they see clear evidence their feedback and perspective matter. 

Students in small class sizes benefit from assessing and learning from one another

Peer assessment, in classes big and small, exposes students to new ways of thinking, and a diverse range of perspectives. By having students take charge in their learning, by providing and receiving feedback from their peers they are given the opportunity to have a deeper experience with course material. With practice and benefitting from the AI-driven grading scale in Kritik, students will learn how to push their peers’ learning further. This not only benefits them on their learning journey, but it’s a valuable skill in life. 

There is also benefit to increasing the conversation between students and reducing the contributions of the professor.

Dr. Bridget Goosby is a professor of sociology at the University of Texas Austin. Dr. Goodby experienced this benefit first hand by using Kritik to help facilitate meaningful dialogue within her course, Race, Ethnicity and Health. For Dr. Goosby, conversation with a small class size was enhanced using Kritik

"Kritik creates an environment where students are hearing a voice that is not mine, but rather the people around them in diverse or similar situations, which is incredibly empowering as students mature and find their footing in this world."

Streamline and Improve Management of Student Interactions

For small classes, discussion and group management is not only still an important responsibility, but professors often need to spend more time ensuring the small class remains interested and invested in learning.

For Kevin McGinnis, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Sport Management at Southern Connecticut State University, Kritik was a tool to reduce the administrative burden of managing dialogue and student interaction in his small master’s level course, while improving student engagement.  

Kritik not only helps professors improve how they manage student interactions, but it improves the student experience as well. For both in-person and online learning, Kritik extends the conversations and learning beyond class time. When students do enter the allotted class time, or engage with their peers, because of Kritik, the conversations and perspectives will be rich, thoughtful and productive.

Justin DeMarchi
Content Marketer and Education Consultant