iPeer

iPeer is a web application that allows instructors to develop and deliver rubric-based peer evaluations, and to review and release student comments and scoring. Instructors can analyze evaluation results and provide students with grades and feedback for their group performance.

Instructions for Getting Started

iPeer provides the following functions:

  • Custom rubric creation.
  • User management system, including bulk import of students and groups.
  • Student reminders via email.
  • Reminder scheduling.
  • Student Feedback System.
  • Release Comments to Students.
  • Wizard Feature, Step by Step Guide for New Users.
  • Simple Evaluation for TBL (Team-Based Learning).
  • Export Results to Excel or txt files.

  • Rubric-based evaluations
    • Guides students of what is expected
    • Clearly breaks down grading scheme
    • Reduces the workload for everyone
  • Quick feedback for students
  • Easy management of evaluations for instructors that can now be managed from within Blackboard/Connect
    • Instructors will more likely encourage peer evaluations
    • Students do not need to login to another location

Currently there are three types of evaluation formats:

  1. Simple Evaluations
    Students assess the contributions of their fellow group members by distributing a set number of points (e.g. 100) among them.
  2. Rubrics Evaluations
    The evaluation process is similar to a multiple choice questionnaire; each group member rates the others on a scale called “level of mastery”. iPeer automates the process of peer evaluation and lowers the workload for both instructors and students. With the benefits of automation students can gain feedback more quickly. Additionally, instructors are less likely to lose evaluations and more likely to encourage peer evaluations.
  3. Mixed Evaluations
    The mixed evaluation of two above.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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?

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

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

For more information, please contact an E-Learning Instructional Support Specialist.