Prof. Ying Yang found peer assessment a perfect fit for two of her courses. In her Professional Selling course, she implemented Kritik for her role-play assignments, and in her Marketing Research course, she ran group assignments. Having used the platform for two terms, she sees a significant improvement in her students’ performance as they learn by doing peer evaluations and giving feedback.
“Being a teacher for a long time, I noticed that students really don’t take your feedback that seriously, and I like the idea that they evaluate each other’s work. That is a fun element, and I think it is going to work for this generation of kids.”
In this story, we will see how Prof. Yang designed role-play and group assignments to help her students get the most out of this experiential learning method.
Impact of Peer Assessment on Student Learning
Prof. Yang finds that peer assessment throughout the semester empowers her students’ learning and improves their understanding of core course concepts. It also increases student engagement as it provides them with a more “fun” way to interact, learn course content, and receive grades and personalized feedback.
Having used Kritik for two terms now, Prof. Yang lists the benefits of using peer assessment in her Business courses:
1. Provides a mechanism to reduce grading and administrative burden
For instructors, grading student work can become overwhelming even with TA support. With Kritik, peer assessment takes care of the primary evaluative function, emphasizing the course learning curve. Instructors using Kritik have complete visibility of their students’ progress and can access a detailed dashboard to view data and analytics on their class performance.
2. Provides an efficient way of actively engaging students
Kritik is designed to improve student engagement and participation in a classroom, online, or a hybrid setting. With students actively participating in an activity to give and receive feedback, they benefit from the opportunity to play a more significant role in scoring and critiquing.
3. Supports the development of soft skills in students
Peer assessment, especially at the group level, helps students enhance soft skills in a learning environment. Working with peers, students develop communication, leadership, and collaboration skills that better prepare them for career success.
4. Shifts the focus to mentoring and coaching
With the evaluation and feedback-on-feedback process, students feel a sense of ownership and accountability when participating in Kritik assignments. They are pushed to feel empowered to help their peers improve and challenge themselves in a given subject area. This allows students to adopt a mentoring or coaching role when scoring others’ works.
5. Allows for exploring ideas amongst students
When running group assignments on Kritik, students benefit from the diversity and exposure they experience. This assignment type encourages the sharing of ideas amongst group members throughout the evaluation and feedback processes.
6. Students learn from each other
Peer assessment, especially at the group level, allows students to actively learn from one another. When running group assignments, instructors have the option to set up activities specifically for the purpose of evaluating group members; Prof. Yang asks her students specific questions to have them analyze their group experience and identify ways to improve and learn from one another for future collaboration.
Here is a peek into the success rate for Prof. Yang’s Professional Selling role-play class:
Role-Play Assignments with Peer Assessment
Prof. Yang assigned her students four role-play assignments within her Professional Selling course. Here’s one of them:
Activity: Role-Play 4 - Handling Objections
This was an Individual activity Prof. Yang had set up for her students. Here is a look at the assignment information she provided:
Students were also given clear instructions on how to complete and submit their initial Creation for the assignment. Here is a look at the instructions Prof. Yang provided her students for the Create stage:
These instructions laid out clear steps for students to follow to complete the first stage of the assignment. Here, Prof. Yang emphasized the importance of specific steps and ensured students had access to precise directions for their work.
To display clear expectations for student performance and success, Prof. Yang created a custom rubric for this role-play activity. Here are the criteria she used:
- Gets clarification on the stated objection
- Effectively answers the objection
- Confirms that the objection is no longer a concern for the buyer
For this rubric, Prof. Yang created three criteria, each with three levels. With this outline visible to students throughout the assignment, Prof. Yang made it clear to her students the definitions and markers for each criterion and level. This not only helped students when completing their Creation but also acted as the main resource for students evaluating others’ work. For these reasons, Prof. Yang tailored the rubric to her activity and course design.
Here is a look into how this rubric played a role in the peer assessment process:
With this evaluation sample, it is seen that students utilize the rubric attached to the activity to evaluate others’ work. While students use the criteria and levels to grade their Creations, they also leave a mandatory written comment to explain strengths and areas for improvement.
Following this, students see the written evaluations they received from their peers about their Creations to provide feedback on their evaluative comments.
Here is a look into the feedback-on-feedback process:
As shown in this feedback sample, students use a Likert scale to rank evaluators’ comments in terms of motivational and critical quality. This stage allows students to learn from one another how to become better evaluators and find ways to encourage peer improvement and learning through assessment.
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Group Assignments with Peer Assessment
Prof. Yang ran 7 group assignments within her Marketing Research course. Here’s one of them:
Activity: Research in Action 1 - Exploratory
This was a group activity Prof. Yang had set up for her students. Here is a look at the assignment information and instructions she provided her students for the Create stage:
Students were given clear instructions on how to approach their assigned work and submit it for the activity. Here, Prof. Yang again emphasized the importance of specific steps to ensure students could access the guidelines.
To display clear expectations for student performance and success, Prof. Yang created a custom rubric for this group activity. Here are the criteria she used to build the rubric:
- In-depth interview questions - rich information and context
- Decision problems - number, content, format
- Research problems - number, content, format
- Relevance between the decision problems and research problems
- Focus group questions - scope
- Focus group questions - scale
- Focus group questions - creativity
- Number of questions
For this rubric, Prof. Yang created nine criteria, each with varying levels. Just as with the previous activity, Prof. Yang clarified the definitions and markers for each criterion and level while they the groups worked on their shared assignments. This also acted as the main resource for students evaluating other groups’ work.
Here is a look into the peer assessment process for this activity:
In this evaluation sample, the student used the same rubric for scoring and directed their written comments to the entire anonymous group they were evaluating, acknowledging the shared Creation they had worked on.
Following this, groups saw the written evaluations they received from peers for their Creations in order to provide feedback on their evaluative comments, identical to the process in Individual activities.
Here is a look into the feedback-on-feedback process:
As shown, students use the same Likert scale to rank evaluators’ comments regarding motivational and critical quality within Group activities.
Boost Student Participation with 360-Degree Feedback
The peer evaluation process on Kritik (Create, Evaluate, Feedback) increases overall student engagement and encourages student improvement and learning on a peer level. With Prof. Yang’s role-play and group assignment examples, this assessment process benefits students’ learning on a fundamental level by allowing them to take on more responsibilities in the scoring process and take accountability for their own submitted work.
Download our team-based learning case study to see how instructors use peer assessment to improve student participation and engagement in their courses.