Empowering Students by Including them in the Peer Evaluation Process

We sat down with Professor RayeCarol Cavender, who teaches in the Department of Retail and Tourism Management at Kentucky University, to talk about her experience implementing peer learning in her courses with Kritik. 

Dr. Cavender offers a unique perspective with her use of peer learning with Kritik. She has been teaching her course for 13 terms, with the most recent three incorporating peer learning with Kritik. In a faculty-led workshop hosted in November 2021, Dr. Cavender reflected on her experience transitioning to Kritik, and the benefits she and her students experienced through peer learning. 

You can watch the recording of our full conversation here.

Why did you decide to implement peer learning into your course?

After 10 terms teaching her course, Human Resource Management, Dr. Cavender decided to implement peer learning with Kritik. Here’s why:

“Prior to using Kritik, it was a great deal of work on my end. They had to develop a 4500 word research paper as a team over the course of multiple iterations… and I’m pulling my hair out because it’s a great deal of work to edit and give quality feedback [per iteration].”

Peer assessment saves time grading for professors and is equitable for students so they can focus on providing additional and personal support for students that require it. It distributes the responsibility from having the professor provide all the feedback to each student in a manageable load so that every evaluation is also personalized and of higher quality.

“It helps me to spend more time on what I need to be spending time on in class. More direct contacts, and meetings with students” where students play an active role in the grading process with mechanisms and tools to keep them accountable and motivated to do their best work. 

How does peer assessment increase the quality of student work?

“There’s no bad assignment. There’s just assignments with room for improvement. We’re all novices at this process; however, we’re going to improve our writing skills.”

Dr. Cavender mentions that while students may be hesitant at first to provide their peers with feedback, it’s a process that all of them are learning at the same time. Rubrics are essential for guiding students through this process and ensuring that they have a clear outline and understanding of what’s expected of them through the three stages of the peer evaluation process.

“I tell students to make sure that they’re editing and providing feedback as if they were the ones going to be graded on the work that they’re editing.”

What is the value of Kritik and peer assessment?

“As far as grading and feedback goes, the students weren’t necessarily involved in the process as much as I would have liked them to be. [Prior to Kritik], students were responsible for reviewing each other’s sections and providing feedback but there wasn’t that level of accountability for the process.”

Peer assessment is not only a tool that supports instructors with their teaching, it’s also a tool that helps enhance students' learning while building soft skills through meaningful peer interactions. This means students are better prepared for real world scenarios and life post-graduation .

“I wanted students to leave the class with a strong understanding of critical thinking, creative thinking, the general research process and the ability to receive and apply both constructive and motivational feedback.”

Kritik helps make this possible in a way that simultaneously makes for a more efficient process for professors.

Learn more about how you can incorporate peer learning in your own courses: https://www.kritik.io/schedule-demo

Dr. RayeCarol Cavender
Dr. RayeCarol Cavender
Kentucky University
Professor of Retailing and Tourism Management

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