How to Shift the Narrative about Peer Feedback in the Classroom

"Kritik has filled the gaps and solved the problems that I had with grading and giving good feedback to my students. The goal for me was to train students to provide critical feedback to one another, not just positive and generic comments, for better learning opportunities"

How have you used Kritik in your course offerings? 

I conducted journal entry assignments on a bi-weekly basis. I used these responses to lead in-class discussions after students had the opportunity to reflect on their own submissions along with their peers’. These activities were already a part of my course, so it was nice to have them fit into Kritik. I used to do weekly journal entries, now the second week is spent doing evaluations on other students. I think they learned more. It became less of a diary and more of a learning process. 

Kritik works to optimize current course processes through peer review. This decreases the workload for instructors while bringing in new formative assessment mechanisms that give students more opportunities to engage with course content and each other. The benefits of peer evaluation are endless, for instructors and students alike.

How did students respond to the introduction of Kritik? 

In the first activity, I noticed that students were scoring well in the more technical, written skills but struggled to move into that higher order of thinking. It was challenging for them to make those connections about how it related to their life. Over time, they got it right and they improved not only in their entries but also in their ability to evaluate others. My students told me that by reading other students’ work they actually learned a lot about the material we covered. There is often a bit of anxiety when it comes to introducing a new tool but I was able to explain to them the structure of the platform and the supports it provides.

Kritik has made implementing our platform simple. We have an extensive amount of resources for students and teachers, including our enhanced student onboarding process with instructional introduction videos that explain the value of Kritik and how to to be a successful student while using our platform. Additionally, our LiveChat function is available to you and your students should you need further assistance at any stage of your Kritik course.

A common misconception about peer review is that students are not qualified evaluators. How has Kritik helped you to shift the narrative about feedback in your classroom? 

When introducing Kritik, most students just went with it! There was the occasional student that would be offended when there were any negative remarks and would reach out to me right away. I was able to shift their focus to understand negative comments as a learning opportunity. I was moved to use Kritik because the skills students develop will not just be used [in the classroom] but in other places. I feel like they are going out into the workforce and they do not know how to give or receive criticism. 

Kritik ensures a fair and accurate peer-to-peer learning scheme through our advanced AI system. Our Calibration feature helps align student grading with how you would grade, improving your student's grading accuracy.‍ Grade accuracy is reflected in their Grading Power, Kritik's gamification incentive, which allows students evaluations to have a proportional impact based on the accuracy of their grading.

I appreciated the Grade Dispute feature, for students to contest their grades. It made it much easier to adjust grading and approach conversations with students. I have done peer review in class in the past and have abandoned it because I found that students cannot always be 100% accurate with their grading, especially in the foreign language courses that I teach. I was spending so much time not just setting up the activity but also correcting the mistakes that other students had made. It was super time-intensive until I introduced Kritik. 

One of the most common misconceptions about peer evaluation is that it opens up opportunities for unqualified students to grade one another which leads to an increased amount of grade disputes. Dr. Lynn Ramy advocates for the ability of Kritik to reduce her workload. In fact, Kritik’s analysis of approximately 140,000 peer-evaluated student assignments show that only 1-4% of students dispute their grades. Kritik is a research-driven platform proven to help you reduce grade disputes, freeing up time for instructors and TAs to provide further mentorship to students.

Despite the return back to in-person learning, how will Kritik continue to provide value to you and your students in asynchronous? 

This process has been very eye-opening for me. I think I am going to be doing more for student collaboration outside of the actual classroom. We will be meeting in class to discuss, but something like this is a perfect activity for students to do outside of the classroom. It is really ideal for students to do things on their own time and at their own pace. 

 At Kritik, we advocate for autonomy for students in their educational careers. Incorporating some asynchronous elements outside of the classroom can provide students with the flexibility they need to be successful. Instructors, like Lynn, have introduced an instructional design with both synchronous and asynchronous elements and have seen a large increase in student engagement and student success.

You can book a No-Commitment Demo Session with one of our Instructional Designers, to learn how Kritik can add value to your course - any discipline, any grade level and any cohort size. Book a Demo.
Prof. Lynn Ramey
Prof. Lynn Ramey
Vanderbilt University
Professor of French

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