Making Assessments More Meaningful with Peer Learning

Dr. Erin Panda, professor in the department of Child and Youth Studies at Brock University, has used Kritik to implement peer assessment in her courses.  Dr. Panda joined Kritik for a community of practice workshop to share her experience with peer learning in both small and large class sizes. As Dr. Panda shared, she appreciated how  “the whole process was much less time consuming and the students got insights and feedback from multiple sources in a timely way.”

Reflecting on her own student experience, Dr. Panda remembers being assigned work, working independently towards completing the work and then submitting it to then move on and worry about the next task at hand. There was no reflection, or peer interaction involved and there was no opportunity to learn from the work before moving on to the next activity. Dr. Panda expressed that what she appreciated in Kritik is how it has improved this process to make learning and assessments more meaningful to students with increased feedback and actionable feedback shortly after submission. 

You can watch the full workshop here and continue reading below for some highlights of our chat.

What was the process like when you began to use Kritik?

Dr. Panda integrated an activity example from Kritik into her 4th year course and found that it made the course more engaging and fun for students to learn the material. Prior to Kritik, she had to allocate time to grade each reflection but with the creative communication activity, it allowed her students to be a part of that grading process.

“What I really liked about Kritik is the support from the Kritik team, and receiving ideas for assignments. One of the example activities that the Kritik team shared with me was a creative communication activity and I’ve been using it in class ever since. The students love it and it’s really enjoyable to read what they produce and for them to hone in on the important message.”

Peer learning can be a refreshing change from traditional learning models where the teaching and learning process is linear. In Dr. Panda’s case, the creative communication assignment empowered students to engage with one another in a safe and productive way and helped build students’ critical thinking skills while improving their understanding of course material.

How does peer assessment improve the quality of students’ work?

“Students felt like it really took off a lot of pressure for them and they felt like they could be caught early if they were going off track.”

Tracking progress plays an important role in helping students produce high quality work throughout the term. Peer assessment allows students to observe and critique different perspectives, which through peer and self reflection, help to enhance their learning and academic performance. The gamification element in Kritik, such as gaining ranks and grading power, also demonstrates to the students how well they improve in providing evaluations and the visual element also encourages them to build on their skills in different areas.

How does Kritik make assessment more efficient and effective?

“When students become good evaluators, the reduced workload will give you that dividend in the end. It encourages more learning and it makes for a better experience which is what you want.”

Kritik not only enables a more effective peer learning experience, but the streamlined process reduces the workload for instructors meaning there is more time for Dr. Panda and others to spend on mentoring and coaching students.  

Dr. Panda’s experience with Kritik is not unique. The structured peer assessment process in Kritik means professors with and without experience using peer learning and across all class types and sizes can find success. 

Interested in learning more about how you can incorporate peer assessment in your classes? Let us work with you to get you started. Book a personalized demo today with a Kritik team member here.

Dr. Erin Panda
Dr. Erin Panda
Brock University
Assistant Professor of Child & Youth Studies

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