Moving Away from Traditional Pedagogy and Assessment Practices

What lead you to use Kritik in your classroom? 

I was introduced to Kritik a few years ago. I was encouraged to pursue different forms of engagement with my students. I use it for my CMS-T1A03, Introduction to communications course, which is a large survey class of about 350 students. Of course last year, we were asked to reimagine how we would evaluate our students, given the fact that students were across many different time zones, the issues with online proctoring and how we would do that. 

The benefits of integrating asynchronous and synchronous elements to your instructional design are endless! At Kritik, we advocate for flexibility and student autonomy; just a few of the many benefits our peer assessment platform provides. 

How did you implement Kritik into your courses? What types of activities did you run? 

The objective was really asking them to reflect on the communications and media sector today and in 300 words or less, argue evidence from the textbook based on the scenarios I gave them. I saw a great improvement in their writing styles over the course. 
We got rid of the multiple-choice quizzes and created ‘communication capsules’; these were timed throughout the course of the semester to hit certain points within the content. Students needed to apply the knowledge that they gained through the course lectures and material. We were able to make sure that they had a sense of knowledge, and applied it to a current world experience. It really showed a practical application of knowledge. 

Our platform is adaptive, to fit all of your desired assessment styles. Kritik supports many file types to make activity design flexible and simple. Our team of Educational Consultants will work closely with you to design activities that integrate your course into Kritik Activities - book a personalized demo with one of our consultants. 

I wanted to ensure that [students provided] a meaningful reflection critique. That way, the evaluation that students were [providing] were reflective of the different levels within the rubric. I wanted the analysis to be deep in terms of all the aspects within a rubric. 

Rubrics are an effective tool for increasing student success in peer evaluation schemes. Our repository of customizable rubrics will increase the quality and accuracy of peer feedback while decreasing time spent grading. Choose from our customizable rubrics, suitable for all disciplines, class sizes and grade levels, or create your own and save it as a template for future activities. 

We had to really think deeply about the value of multiple-choice quizzes that were traditionally used. We know that multiple-choice doesn’t really test [students] level of engagement with material or their level of knowledge and application. That is why I found [Kritik] to be a very valuable tool. 

Our mission at Kritik is to support instructors in accelerating the transition from the traditional form of education to a more competency-based pedagogy that enhances student’s critical thinking skills and allows for the development of the practical and transferable skills necessary to succeed in their careers. Kritik simplifies the transition to modern pedagogy practices, leveraging state-of-the-art technology to develop students’ higher-order thinking. 

How was your experience adopting Kritik? 

I know there is a learning curve, especially for me, to be able to get used to a new tool. The best thing about it is that Eli was my co-pilot. [Kritik] allows me to really design and customize a course that I felt was going to give students the best opportunity to succeed. He helped me to design activities that added value for students. They are pieces that students are able to add to their portfolios as concise writing pieces for a blog or campaign. 

Kritik has made implementing our platform simple. Our Help Centre is an exhaustive bank of instructional resources and video tutorials, for students and instructors. Still in need of support? Our LiveChat function is available to you and your students, should you need further assistance, at any stage of your Kritik course.

What was the response from your students to Kritik? 

The feedback from students that I received was that they appreciated the timelessness of the evaluations they were getting. They were able to read back and reflect on where they thought they could have done better. I think seeing that different perspectives from different students really helped sharpen their own skills. I saw an increase in the competency of the pieces over time. 
[Students] liked the opportunity to give voice to the feedback, to articulate where they thought that the feedback was not fair. Of the 1200 capsules submitted over time, I had less than 20 dispute scores. [Kritik] allowed me to go back to see whether or not the marking was fair. When [students] are seeing different submissions, I think it does help them [seeing] good examples of other students’ submissions. It is very engaging. 

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. 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. Instructors including Dr. Terry Flynn have seen a decrease in workload using peer evaluation; freeing up time for instructors and TAs to provide further mentorship to students. 

What are your plans for the upcoming year? 

I am not going back to multiple choice. [Multiple choice] is really just recalling and memorization; it is not applied knowledge. I like writing little scenarios and capsules. It makes [content] relevant to them and contextualizing the ‘ask’ of them. They are enacting this role that hopefully showcases the kind of careers they may be able to have someday. [Kritik] has been a very valuable tool. 

Thousands of instructors, like Dr. Terry Flynn, have seen major improvements in students’ quality of work and satisfaction through competency-based, peer-to-peer learning. Our talented Instructional Designers are happy to discuss with you how Kritik can fit into your course offerings, adding incomparable value to both you and your students. book a personalized consultation with one of our consultants.

Dr. Terry Flynn
Dr. Terry Flynn
McMaster University
Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies and Multimedia

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