Sal Meyers: Implement Team-based learning with Peer Assessment

As a professor of Social Psychology, Dr Sal Meyers recognized that getting students engaged in a group writing activity was not easy. With the understanding that a student’s learning environment has a direct impact on their thoughts and behavior, Dr. Meyers decided to adopt Kritik’s peer evaluation tool in her class.

“I try to focus more on skill building than I do on content. Content keeps changing, but students continue to build on their skills which will be much more important to them in the long run.” 

What are the challenges of group-based learning

While the course Dr. Meyers was teaching an in-person class that ensured plenty of opportunities for peer learning, group-based activities always saw inconsistent participation among teams. In the past, this led to scattered levels of commitment and a poor overall learning experience.

“I wanted them to do something more engaging than just writing something. Students often have trouble writing in groups, but Kritik encouraged everyone to participate and contribute, and then helped them recognize their impact through the evaluations.” 

Dr. Meyers saw that with group-based writing projects, tracking contribution was difficult and students struggled to maintain cohesion across the assignment. This would put pressure on one member of the team to take the lead in collating the research from the other team members, making it an ineffective peer-learning methodology.

Kritik as a solution

For their group project, Dr. Meyers asked teams to create a video PowerPoint presentation. Each student took onus of their share of the presentation and were able to work as a group. Once the students submitted their assignment on Kritik, they were asked to evaluate their peer groups. This not only exposed them to newer points of view but also helped them to build the ability to compare their work with the class.

“Students learn something when they work with their group to create their product, but they also learn something when they evaluate each other's products and consider new perspectives from their peers. The learning from evaluating each other may be even more beneficial than the feedback they actually receive.” 

As an instructor, Dr. Meyers was able to set up the assignment using Kritik’s customizable rubrics that could be tweaked as per the demand and the purpose of the course. Once she applied the calibration activity to the evaluation, Dr. Meyers was amazed at how accurate the student grades were, strengthening her confidence in the process and thereby reducing her grading workload.

“I love that Kritik gives me a bunch of customizable rubrics to start with so I don’t have to create everything from scratch. Since I can provide the rubric to students upfront, it helps them understand expectations and prioritize their focus. Combined with the calibration activity, this made grading much more accurate.” 

By shifting the focus from content to developing soft skills, Dr. Meyers’ aim to make an engaging assessment was realized with Kritik. Schedule a demo with Kritik today to see how peer evaluation can help you deliver a more immersive classroom learning experience.

Sal Meyers
Sal Meyers
Simpson College
Department of Psychology

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