Professor Craig Davis teaches in the School of Journalism at Ohio University and implements peer assessment in his courses as a tool to help students improve their work and understanding of course material.
“There are two types of students there. There are students that see other students’ work and want to improve and there’s this other group of students that look at other students’ work and decide it’s too much. My job is to give them the best opportunity to succeed.”
You can view the full workshop recording with Professor Davis through this link.
How did your students feel about participating in peer assessment?
“I did a satisfaction survey on what my students thought of using [Kritik], and everyone in the class loved it because they could do it on their own time. They got to see what other students were working on and could adapt their papers as needed.”
With peer assessment, students receive multiple points of personalized feedback at the end of each activity. Students learn differently, and come to a course at different stages of understanding so the system of learning needs to work to support their diverse abilities and backgrounds. Dr. Davis found that exposing students to their peers’ work helped students gauge what quality was to be expected of them and this understanding improved over the course of the term.
How did you incorporate accountability in the peer learning process?
“I would go in and see their grade and then talk to them one on one saying here’s what I think your paper needs. They got feedback from both elements there and it seemed to work.”
Setting up the peer evaluation process is the easy part but holding students accountable for the feedback and grades they provide is often where the challenge comes. Dr. Davis addressed this in two ways: using Kritik’s Feedback Stage as a way to gauge how well students are evaluating others and then after providing feedback himself, allowing students to go back and improve their work based on the feedback received.
“Students still have the opportunity to update their work after I have a discussion with them. And then they go through the process one more time. So the goal, as a professor, is wanting the students to get 100s.”
This helps reiterate the point that feedback and evaluations have a purpose and can be applied to the same assignment. Students have the opportunity to improve their work based on the evaluations they received but also help their peers become better evaluators by providing them feedback based on how critical and motivational the evaluations were.
What’s the difference in terms of learning outcomes between traditional methods versus peer learning?
“It speeds up their learning and I think their final submissions are stronger than what they used to be because it's gone through a number of renditions. They've gotten a lot of feedback from other people including me that if they are diligent and pay attention to that, they're going to address all of those issues."
Dr. Davis also pointed out the lack of connection that traditional learning methods had with real world applications. In most industries and workplaces, the work that is produced is reviewed and proofed by multiple people, similar to the peer review process. Traditional teaching methods are based on a linear learning process between each student and the professor but in opening how the review process works, students are better prepared for conducting feedback and receiving it in the real world.
We asked Prof. Davis what he would say to professors thinking of adopting peer learning with Kritik:
“The world is changing and this is a way to be more efficient and effective with your students and improve the learning outcome and the experiences. Try [Kritik] and see what you think!”
How does Kritik fit into a world that’s constantly changing and adapting to different needs? Peer assessment presents new perspectives for students and relies on a process that better reflects the dynamic of the real world. Through a consistent review process with the structure of rubrics , and learning objectives, students improve their work over time and are guided towards the learning outcomes.