John Hopkins: Designing an Engaging STEM Learning Experience

Teaching large classes of 400+ students comes with its own challenges, such as student engagement and a heavy grading workload. Having tried several peer learning methods previously, Prof. John Hopkins recently adopted Kritik and was thrilled with his experience.

“[Kritik] is like a 5th-generation product that solves many of these issues in a tremendously well-thought-out way.”

How does Kritik support Peer Learning?

In STEM courses like Chemistry, where learning formulas and their applications are at the core, peer learning can aid with concept reinforcement. While using Kritik in his General Chemistry course, Prof. Hopkins made the following observations:

1. Kritik helps with better student engagement

Student engagement poses a challenge across disciplines and class sizes. Peer assessment on Kritik is designed to encourage students to be more involved in the learning process, from submitting their assignments to getting their grades. As evaluators, students get to see their peers' work and experience first-hand what the instructors expect from their students.

See how Kritik can enhance your LMS capabilities to improve student engagement.

2. Kritik activities build critical-thinking skills

Peer assessment drives students to understand and think about what they’ve learned. With customizable activities, instructors can set specific learning goals encouraging students to apply their knowledge. In case of an error, they can always refer to what their peers have done and learn from them.

3. Kritik encourages students to give constructive feedback

As a tool, Kritik penalizes students for giving unhelpful feedback such as ‘Great job!’. It encourages students to give detailed peer feedback. This helps them prepare for the workforce, where they wouldface situations requiring them to provide for their colleagues or teammates.

“At the beginning of every term, I make it a point to discuss the objective of a peer feedback activity in class. This way, the students understand the importance of providing and receiving critical feedback.”

See how you can motivate students to accept critical feedback.

How does Kritik support Instructors in delivering an engaging Learning Experience?

“Other platforms for peer learning and peer assessments are designed to encourage poor grading, but Kritik has ironed out all the small nitty-gritty of the process.”

According to a short survey by Prof. Hopkins, students disliked the peer assessment process. Students often found ways of cheating the system and getting higher grades without doing any work. But with Kritik, all these challenges were resolved.

1. Kritik reduces the Grading Burden

With peer assessment taking over the primary grading function, instructors only need to intervene when students raise a grading dispute. Across class sizes and disciplines, Kritik sees a 2-4% grading dispute. In Prof. Hopkins’ course, the grading disputes stand at 4.27%. Typically the type of grading disputes Prof. Hopkins saw in his courses were incorrectly marked assignments that he could go and resolve and correct the grade.

2. Kritik enables quick turnaround time on Feedback

With 400+ students, Prof. Hopkins students get feedback in just 1.8 days! This quick turnaround time also encourages students to be in the loop without losing interest.

Chemistry assignment solving a stoichiometry problem for John Hopkin's course

3. Kritik ensures accurate grading with the Calibration Activity

The calibration feature on Kritik is an activity that helps align students grading to how an instructor would grade, thus, improving their grading accuracy. Through the calibration technique, student evaluations are compared to the evaluations provided by the instructor. This is carried out by the Kritik AI.

4. Instructors have access to a Customizable bank of Rubrics

Kritik provides several rubric templates that instructors can use as is or be customized per their requirements. Here’s an example of a rubric that Prof. Hopkins used in one of his General Chemistry class projects.

Download the deck and the full recording of the workshop.

Drive Deep Learning with Kritik!

From the start of the peer assessment process to getting their final grades, students stay engaged with their course readings and activities. Throughout the process, they read different aspects of the same problem or topic, expanding their knowledge and critical thinking skills. 

Schedule a demo to understand how Kritik can help your courses drive engagement and improve the quality of peer-to-peer feedback

John Hopkins
John Hopkins
Louisiana State University
Chemistry Professor

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