Jaynne Rivas: Enhancing Analytical Skills through Effective Peer Assessment

Prof. Jaynne Rivas, a distinguished professor at Indiana University's School of Business and Economics, integrates peer assessment into her business strategy courses to develop her students' analytical skills. Leveraging Kritik as her platform for peer assessment, Prof. Rivas has found that her students not only improve their critical thinking abilities but also engage more deeply with course material.

In this story, we will delve into Prof. Rivas's methods for using peer assessment to enhance analytical skills, provide insights into her assignment designs, and explore the strategic rubrics she employs to guide her students toward success.

Download the deck and the full recording of Prof. Jaynne Rivas's workshop.

Leveraging Peer Assessment in Business Strategy Courses

Prof. Rivas employs a structured approach in her business strategy courses to include peer assessment as a critical component that helps students develop the critical analytical skills necessary for success in the business world. Her course is designed around three core activities:

1. Understanding the Environment: Students analyze the business environment using various analytical tools and frameworks. This foundational step ensures that they grasp the complexities of the business context.

2. Designing the Strategy: Based on their analysis, students propose strategic solutions to address identified issues. This phase emphasizes the application of theoretical knowledge to practical problems.

3. Implementing the Strategy: Students outline the steps for implementing their proposed strategies, considering potential challenges and solutions. This final stage requires them to think critically about the feasibility and impact of their strategies.

The Impact of Peer Review on Business Courses

Prof. Rivas explains how peer review leaves a skillful impact on her students by increasing their performance in critical-thinking skills, promoting higher-level thinking skills such as planning, monitoring, and regulation, and enhancing students' learning motivation. She describes how peer review helps students develop critical thinking, which involves understanding and responding to different situations logically. This includes making decisions, solving problems, gathering and analyzing information, anticipating needs, prioritizing actions, accurately summarizing data, communicating effectively, and managing multiple tasks. By using Kritik's peer assessment in her courses, her students have been able to significantly enhance these skills.

Integrating Kritik with LMS Platforms to Improve Feedback Quality

Initially, Prof. Rivas used the LMS platform for peer assessments, where feedback was often very general and lacked depth. Examples of typical LMS feedback include:

  • “Good explanations to Porter’s Five Forces.
  • “A nice change for a processing tool in the color and layout of your chart. Statements are clear and concise.”
  • “The appraisal sounds very good. Just missing the charts.”
  • “I couldn't find anything relating to the resource-based view concept.”

However, when she integrated Kritik into her LMS, the feedback quality improved drastically. Students began providing detailed, constructive feedback. 

"I use Kritik because the engaging system allows them to develop better feedback and actually I can reach my goal of developing the analytical skill of students," she explains. 

An example of detailed feedback from the evaluation stage in Kritik includes:

Example Assignment and Rubric

Assignment: Strategy Implementation and Design

Prof. Rivas initially tasks her students in the creation stage with an activity that requires analyzing a business environment and using the data they gather to come up with strategic solutions. She provides clear and detailed instructions, guiding them to use specific tools and methods to collect and understand the information. This activity helps students deeply understand concepts, improve their reasoning skills, and develop important soft skills like teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. It also builds their confidence and keeps them engaged and curious throughout the learning process. Below is an example of what her assignment layout looks like:

Below, is an example rubric criteria that Prof. Rivas created with Kritik’s built-in rubric creator used to accompany her assignment which includes the following:

  • Apply Concept 1: Generic Strategy
  • Apply Concept 2: Pitfalls of the Generic Strategy
  • Apply Concept 3: Improving Competitive Position vis-à-vis the Five Forces
  • Apply Concept 4: The Industry Life Cycle
  • Apply Concept 5: Related Diversification
  • Apply Concept 6: Unrelated Diversification
  • Apply Concept 7: Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)
  • Apply Concept 8: Business Alliances
  • Ability to Write Professionally
  • References and Citations

Prof. Rivas assigns her students the evaluation stage using a 3-star rating system. Here’s an example:

After the evaluation stage, students proceed to the feedback stage, where they provide and receive feedback on the evaluations they conducted. This completes the 360-degree feedback loop in Kritik.

Improve Your Student’s Analytical Skills with Kritik’s Peer Assessment   

Prof. Jaynne Rivas has successfully used Kritik to integrate peer assessment into her business strategy courses, significantly improving students' analytical skills through detailed feedback and peer review. Her structured approach and emphasis on detailed feedback have made a big difference in student engagement and learning outcomes. 

Start enhancing your students' analytical skills today by creating your course on Kritik here.

Jaynne Rivas
Jaynne Rivas
Indiana University

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