ipeer tips

Tips

For Students

  • Once an iPeer event has been set up and is available, you will see the link on your course homepage. Click to enter.
  • 2 panels are displayed showing the evaluations needed to be completed and submitted evaluations.
    • To complete an evaluation, click on its title on or before the due date.
    • To view answers to an evaluation, click on its title. A new window or tab will pop up with the evaluations answers and results. If you do not see any results, the instructor has no released your evaluation. Please contact your instructor.

For Instructors

How and Why of Peer Evaluation

  • Eliminates or reduces inflated assessments
  • Less stressful environment (proximity of persons being assessed)
  • Quick results
  • Saves class time for other things. (Not using class time for the assessment)
  • Useful tool in assessing student’s interaction and processing skills.
  • Offers students an assessment from someone other than the instructor.
  • Increases student knowledge about assessment and evaluation practices.

When to use iPeer:

If you are using the same groups for the entire term, it will be helpful to do a peer assessment 3 times. The first occasion should be a couple weeks into the term, then again at midterm and a final assessment at the end of the term. This will encourage developmental feedback and improvement. Only assessing group work when it is completed is not a learning experience for students, since they have no chance to improve their grade based on the feedback they receive.

Considerations to use iPeer:

Do students have access to the results in order to plan for improvement? Are they accountable to each other? Or can they get away with harshness or inflation?

Tips to using Peer Evaluation in the Classroom:

  • The assessments of group process should be formative (more than once) so that there is motivation to contribute and improve.
  • At the end of a term, the students are looking for the instructor’s evaluation, not from their peers.
  • Students are not trained assessors, so some instruction and information should be discussed with them concerning the purpose of getting them to assess each other and the process that they should follow. Emotion, ignorance and laziness are factors that affect the usefulness of peer assessments. Remind them that they are to focus on the quality of work, not their likes or dislikes of either the person or the assignment.
  • It may be more realistic to get the students to rate their peers according to descriptors of a level of achievement rather than allowing them to choose a numerical grade for a performance or product. The instructor can attach the numerical value after receiving the descriptors that pertain to that individual.
  • In order to eliminate inflated assessments, feedback should include a rationale or justification rather than just check boxes. The students will be more apt to give useful feedback (constructive, specific) when they have to justify their choices. This should also eliminate the tendency to assess each member equally. Allowing space and time for a rationale for the choices should inhibit superficial and unengaged assessments.
  • Some types of peer evaluation include the assessor losing marks if they miss or do not identify weaknesses or errors.
  • Students loathe expressing faults in their peers.
  • Students should assess themselves and then compare the results with the peer assessments completed about them.

Information on Rubrics

  • A rubric is a scoring guide for assessing student work. It is a criterion-referenced tool. It lists the important criteria on which a product or a performance will be judged and specifies levels of quality for each of those criteria.
  • When the criteria are accurately delineated, a rubric has the capability of providing a fair, reliable and valid method of assessment.
  • Rubrics inform students about what counts in completing a particular task.
  • A weighted rubric is one in which certain concepts are judged more heavily than others.

Steps in Developing a Rubric:

  • Look at models of the performance/product. Consider the characteristics that distinguish “good” work from other work.
  • Establish the criteria. Characteristics evident in the exemplary models will become the criteria.
  • Determine the number of levels in the rubric. Using 4 or 5 levels i ideal. 4 levels keep you from choosing a middle. 5 allows for more precision.
  • Develop descriptions of quality for each level of the criteria. Begin by describing the highest and lowest levels of quality and then fill in the levels between. Try to avoid making the lowest level sound bad; it should merely describe an ineffective performance or product.
  • Practice using the rubric with a sample.
  • Revise the rubric as necessary.

Ideas to use in the creation of a peer assessment:

  • Areas of strength; areas for development
  • Rarely prepared; adequately prepared; well-prepared
  • Is hard to work with because he/she tries to do all the work themselves
  • Our team needs to communicate more
  • We are doing well
  • Everyone is contributing
  • We are progressing
  • Working as a team was a positive experience.

Sample Rubrics:

Weekly group progress reports:

  • Our group _____ did no work _____ did some work _____ completed this week’s tasks.
  • Goals _____ met goals _____ did not meet goals.
  • Our team _____ is functioning effectively _____ needs work.

Group members assessment:         Always     70% of the time    50% of the time    20% of the time    Never

  • Participated in team meetings
  • Was helpful and cooperative
  • Submitted assigned work on time
  • Produced work that required little revision
  • Contributed their fair share
  • Participated in decision-making
  • Displayed a positive attitude and constructive comments
  • Expressed thoughts clearly

When things don’t go well:

  1. Set-up a team meeting
  2. Review the “agreed to” plan – Let each member summarize their understanding of the “agreed to” plan and their contributions to date.
  3. Review your mutual goals
  4. Document the process
  5. Express all positions openly
  6. Define the are of conflict
  7. Consider possible solutions
  8. Discuss advantages and disadvantages of possible solutions
  9. Generate mutual agreement on a solution
  10. Establish a date to re-evaluate outcomes.