Wendy Krause: Benefits of 360-degree Peer Review in STEM courses

With a class size of 12 students, Prof. Wendy Krause uses peer assessment to run several creative activities in her Polymeric Biomaterials Engineering course. Before she began her journey with Kritik, Prof. Krause tried several manual peer review and very time-consuming feedback methods. In our chat with her below, she talks about how Kritik helped improve the quality of submissions she received from her students.

Q1. How did you choose Kritik to conduct peer reviews in your courses?

WK: I have always encouraged peer feedback and assessment, but it would become difficult to implement given the manual work. This was when I came across Kritik at a conference I attended; it has been the most effective tool! It is automated, saves me grading time, and helps give my students accurate grades with barely any grading disputes.

Download the deck and the full recording of the workshop.

Q2. Can you list some benefits of peer assessment that you’ve observed?

WK: One of the biggest benefits of peer assessment is that the students see each other's work which causes self-reflection; this does not usually happen when the assignments come directly to me. This is important since the students analyze their work and set parameters for themselves. They also see a spectrum of ways to solve the same question or problem. Another benefit is the peer pressure it causes. Students know their peers will see their creations, so they try harder to submit their best work.

Learn how Kritik helps enhance students' peer review skills.

Q3. How has Kritik helped with strengthening peer review in your classes?

WK: Before Kritik, I used peer review only for one assignment, but now I use it for all assignments. Earlier, I used to do this only in class and nothing formal, but Kritik has helped make it more comprehensive and streamlined.

The Kritik platform is flexible and allows me to set the assignment as I want. I usually ask students to submit a rough draft of the final paper to assess them primarily on their peer review skills. This has enhanced their engagement and pushed them to work harder on their papers. Here are some statistics from my course that I would like to share:

Q4. How has the use of Rubrics on Kritik helped the peer assessment process?

WK: Rubrics used compared to standard LMS grading systems are much more accessible when the students perform their grading assignments. Kritik has several rubric templates that can be tweaked, which is really helpful. Another advantage of these rubrics is that they even open up in a sidebar (image shown above) when the student is evaluating the paper. Hence, the rubrics are always in their sights, unlike the other systems that require students to keep going back and forth to view the rubrics.

Customizing rubrics in Kritik is easy to understand and saves time since I don’t have to create them from scratch. I chose a template already available on the platform and tweaked it to suit my course objectives. I usually assess my students on six criteria - Content, Organisation, Knowledge, Critical Analysis, Creativity, and Visual Aid.

Does Kritik integrate with your LMS? Find out here!

Q5: What type of activities do you have in your courses?

WK: I conduct many group activities, including in-class group presentations. I usually inform my students of the peer evaluation they will be doing using Kritik. I help them learn to give constructive feedback by giving them peer evaluation examples using the RISE (Reflect, Inquire, Suggest, and Elevate) model. This helped in getting good feedback and student engagement.

Implement Peer Review with Kritik!

With a comprehensive and streamlined peer review process, instructors save time doing redundant administrative tasks. Students get several pieces of feedback from their peers that they can utilize to improve the quality of work and have a more engaging learning experience with Kritik.

Schedule a demo with Kritik to see how you can transform your course with peer assessment.

Wendy Krause
Wendy Krause
North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Textile Engineering Professor

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