Valentina Kozlova: Scaffolded Team-Based Activities with Peer Assessment

Instructor of Economics, Prof. Valentina Kozlova, has always used team-based activities like group projects to assess her students. She began her journey with Kritik during the COVID-19 pandemic when group projects had to be conducted online. Kritik helped Prof. Kozlova keep her students engaged through a structured 360-degree peer assessment method. 

Post-pandemic, she continues to use Kritik in the classroom to run her scaffolded activities as she saw the drastic improvement in the quality of submissions as her students received multiple pieces of feedback through peer assessment.

The big benefit that I now find from using Kritik is how I am able to allow students to engage with the other groups’ work. With Kritik, I am able to have my scaffolded assignments for students where they submit bits and pieces of the whole semester project, and every time they submit the next piece, they get to evaluate the other groups’ work. They seem to really like that process where they get to see what everyone else is working on multiple times throughout the semester, not just at the end. So, they are engaged in a more meaningful way than what I was able to do without Kritik.”

How Peer Assessment Improved Student Engagement and Accountability

Prof. Kozlova finds that peer feedback throughout the semester helps students engage with her course constructively. It promotes learning from others’ work by identifying their mistakes and strong points.

Using peer feedback saw increased accountability among students as it mirrors real-life situations where students have to share their work with their classmates. Since peer evaluations on Kritik are anonymous, students have no way of knowing who is reviewing their work.

Download the deck and the full recording of how Prof. Kozlova runs scaffolded assignments with Kritik.

How Accurate is Peer Assessment on Kritik?

Explaining the essentials of peer evaluation and the impact it would have on students’ learning experience was important before she started using Kritik. 

Here are some common concerns she had to address:

1. How accurate were the grades through peer evaluation?

2. Are my peers capable of giving me correct feedback?

3. Will my instructor not give me any feedback?


All of these concerns were handled with the calibration feature on Kritik. Students are assigned a Grading Power (1-6 stars) for their peer evaluations on Kritik that directly impacts their peers’ grades. The instructor can set up a calibration activity at the beginning of the course by giving their students a few assignments of varying quality to evaluate based on a well-defined rubric. Keeping the instructor’s evaluation as the gold standard, all student evaluations are compared against this through Kritik’s AI, which forms their grading power.

For example: If a student’s work is being peer-reviewed by three students with, say, 2-star, 3-star and 5-star grading power, the final grade that they would get would consider the different levels that the evaluators are at owing to their grading power. 

Here is a peek into the success rate for Prof. Kozlova’s class:

A table of stats for Prof. Valentina Kozlova's economic course

Scaffolded Team-Based Activities with Peer Assessment

Prof. Kozlova’s scaffolded team-based assignments involve the use of detailed rubrics to guide the students in the process of assessing their peer’s work over Kritik. She found that not only did Kritik promote teamwork, but it also encouraged sustained student engagement with core concepts throughout the semester and improved the quality of assessments through peer evaluations. 

Here is a look at some of her activities and their corresponding rubrics.

Activity 1: Project Proposal

Prof. Kozlova places a high emphasis on the formulation of research questions in her group projects. For instance, one of the first group activities she plans involves creating a project proposal to help answer a specific research question. 

To guide students, she created the following rubric that they can use to complete their assignments and peer review their classmates’ work.

Prof. Valentina Kozlova project proposal rubric

Activity 2: Video Presentation

Video presentation is usually the last activity in Prof. Kozlova’s courses, where students have to present the experiment they have worked on. Here’s what the final presentation assessment rubric looks like:

Prof. Valentina Kozlova video presentation rubric

Prof. Kozlova says she finds a vast qualitative difference between the first and last activities in her course with Kritik’s rubric-based peer assessment system. Students improve with consecutive feedback and deliver the final assignment of significantly superior quality. 

4 Key Takeaways of Using Kritik

Having used Kritik in her courses for quite some time now, Prof. Kozlova finds that peer assessment through Kritik benefits both students and instructors. Here are four benefits of using Kritik for scaffolded team-based assignments that she finds particularly noteworthy:

1. Timely and Personalized Feedback

The quick, rubric-based peer feedback enabled by Kritik allows students to assess their growth throughout the semester. Moreover, Prof Kozlova notes as each feedback received through Kritik is personalized, students can work on the specific areas where they require improvement and turn in good quality work progressively throughout the semester. 

2. Shifting the Instructor’s role into a Mentor

Using Kritik to implement peer assessment in class saves Prof. Kozlova's grading time, allowing her to devote more hours to student mentoring. She was also delighted with how, as an instructor, she had complete control over the evaluation process as she could track how many students were completing their evaluations, mark each student’s progress, and mentor them as per their needs.

3. Building Essential Skills

Prof. Kozlova notes that overall, Kritik’s peer assessment in group activities enhances learning through sustained concept reinforcement. She found that peer assessment through Kritik builds critical thinking and soft skills and helps students remain engaged with the subject and peers.

4. Better Quality Evaluations due to Anonymity

Although Prof. Kozlova has not yet felt the need to use the anonymity feature in her courses, she acknowledges how it may promote honest feedback. Rubric-based anonymous peer assessments are more likely to be critical and bias-free appreciations of peers’ work as students remain unaware of which peer has evaluated their assignment.

Kritik promotes peer learning through a constructive peer feedback system for scaffolded team-based activities. Data-driven insights enable instructors to diversify the assessment process and track student progress.

Download our free Team-based learning case study that shows the use of peer assessment. Bonus: Rubrics for group assignments (within-group and between group)

Valentina Kozlova
Valentina Kozlova
University of Alberta
Professor of Economics

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