Dr. Steve Matusz: Using Peer Assessment for Essays and Presentations

How to use Kritik for Essays, Problem Sets, Presentations, etc.

Dr. Steve Matusz is a Professor of Economics at the University of Michigan as well as the Associate Editor for the Review of International Economics Journal. We checked in with Steve to see how he uses Kritik for his economics courses, and why Kritik works so effectively for trying out different activities for his students.

We also love the Zoom backgrounds he uses for his meetings and online classes!

Kritik for Problem Sets:


Dr. Matusz uses Kritik to administer his economics problem sets throughout the term. The Create stage is where students are expected to submit their assignment, and after that deadline has passed, an answer key uploaded by Dr. Matusz will assist the students in evaluating each other. This process delivers value to the students because they are able to see how some of their peers answered a question, and evaluate them based on a rubric created. They are exposed to the material in the Create, Evaluate, & Feedback Stages, which reinforces their learning of the material 3 times, as opposed to submitting their homework online regularly.

Kritik for Essay Responses

Kritik Screenshot for Essays

From a first glance, you can see that Dr. Matusz has given his students explicit instructions for what type of essay he expects. This essay's objectives are concise and succinct, and the students will gain experience towards interpreting research articles, using the FRED interface, and understanding primary data sources. The instructions for this type of essay will make the peer evaluation process more useful, as students will be able to see where they went wrong, as well as feel empowered by making evaluative decisions.

Kritik for Presentations

Kritik Screenshot for Presentations

By displaying the objectives for his students, there are clear expectations for what they will be learning from this activity. This type of preparation is essential for remote learning, where students will be learning independently for the most part. Presentations are a great way to refine public speaking skills, and should not be ignored by learning at home. Either through live or recorded presentations, students can evaluate each other within groups or individually in Kritik to ensure that they develop their evaluation skills.

Tracking your students critical thinking through our Evaluation Score

Screenshot Assessing students grades with Kritik score

You can track a student's grading and evaluative ability in their Evaluation Score. This metric gives them a weekly set of points based on how accurate their grading is compared to the weighted average, as well as how motivational and how critical their feedback is. You track their abilities from a week-to-week basis, and after the first couple of activities, they learn how to provide stronger evaluations through Kritik.

Dr. Steve Matusz
Dr. Steve Matusz
Michigan State University
Professor of Economics

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