From Classroom to Career: How Peer Learning Prepares Students for their Future

Dr. Brian Hoyt, Professor of Management at Ohio University, found a solution in Kritik to improve his students’ core competencies and critical thinking skills. Here’s how. 

“My reason for wanting to try Kritik had to do with improving competencies and Kritik is a platform all about peer to peer feedback and developing critical thinking skills. For my business and management students, they’re required to work on critical thinking, teamwork and collaboration skills.”

Watch the full conversation recording here and continue reading for his insights on how using Kritik and implementing peer assessment improve competencies.

Why is it important for students to develop critical thinking skills?

According to a survey done by the National Association of Colleges and Employers in 2018, 99.2% of employers consider critical thinking skills as a key competency that is necessary for students to have when they graduate. Yet, only 60.4% of employers who were surveyed said that students were proficient in this skill (National Association of Colleges and Employers).

Recognizing the importance of developing students’ transferable skills , Prof. Hoyt looked to peer learning to increase students' interaction and empower students to evaluate their peers' work and respond to the evaluations provided to them by their peers.

“I was looking for something that would help me implement peer to peer activities knowing that the research is very clear. Peer to peer activities and assessment is very valuable to a student’s learning.”

How do you get students to care about the peer learning process?

Engaging students in the peer learning process empowers them to take control of their learning and to measure success and understanding in the course. Not only are students improving their ability to create high quality work, they are also gaining valuable skills in learning how to provide critical and motivational feedback to their peers. Dr. Hoyt noted that his students honed in on improving their peer evaluation skills.

“[My students] were appreciating learning by observing others because I gave them the tools, the rubric and the opportunity to provide peer to peer evaluations. The grading was anonymous but structured in a way that was helpful.”

Dr. Hoyt also regularly uses the flipped classroom model in his lesson plans to engage his students. A flipped classroom model asks students to learn course material in their own time and then come to class to engage in activities and assignments.

“If you’ve ever incorporated a flipped classroom model, looking at a powerpoint, answering three questions and then coming in just really doesn’t do it. You end up putting in a ton of time to make the flip exercise meaningful and [Kritik] does this in a very easy way.”

How would you approach implementing team based learning?

Group-based learning is a competency requirement that many employers expect outside of the classroom. Students need to be able to work in a team environment and strong communication skills and problem solving abilities are key.

“I frame the work they do in teams as first working together to solve a problem. Using Kritik, they then evaluate each other along the way. So they get better as a team within their group and then ultimately be able to evaluate other teams. So then the peer to peer evaluation process is refining how well they do each of those three things.”

The competencies students hone and develop through peer learning prepares them for life after graduation when many first enter the workforce.  Professors not only prepare students for their futures with peer learning, there are tangible benefits in the academic setting too, including increased engagement, interaction and accountability. As we have seen with Dr. Hoyt, instructors have found a solution in Kritik to realize these benefits in a streamlined and efficient way while at the same time reducing the grading workflow.   

Sources

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES AND EMPLOYERS. (2020). Spring 2020 NACE Job Outlook. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from https://www.coursehero.com/file/53704991/Spring-2020-NACE-Job-Outlookpdf/. 


Dr. Brian Hoyt
Dr. Brian Hoyt
Ohio University
Professor of Management

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