Sam Staley: Building Collaborative Teams with Peer Assessment

As an Economics professor at Florida State University, Dr. Sam Staley has used Kritik in three courses, including Urban Economics, Social Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development. Before using Kritik, Dr. Staley faced roadblocks with getting students to work together in a team effectively and build  presentation skills.

As a learning aid, Kritik helped Dr. Staley ensure that his students received the most value from their courses while building good critical thinking skills.

Kritik helps build a Collaborative Learning Environment

Dr. Staley’s experience with Kritik had been a stepping stone to promoting team-based and competency-based learning in the classroom. Not only did Kritik successfully induce collaboration among students, but it also encouraged them to get more engaged with course material, embrace constructive criticisms, and learning to give helpful feedback. 

Whether online or in person, trust is one of the most crucial factors in creating a positive classroom environment that also plays a huge role when students a working as a team. Kritik has helped Dr. Staley to facilitate an environment where his students are comfortable expressing themselves to their peers and cultivating trust.

"My classes are usually capped at 20 students & are small. However, I find Kritik as a tool that can easily be scaled. Many of my peers in much larger classes find it very useful. And probably the design of Kritik suits larger classes, but even in small classes like mine, we could tweak it to be very effective and advance learning very quickly!"

Teaching a small class? See how you can adopt Kritik to maximize engagement and create more opportunities for peer learning 

Kritik enables students to embrace developmental feedback

Dr. Staley started using Kritik as a classroom supplement to instill critical thinking abilities in his students and prepare them for real-world environments they will experience after graduation. Eventually, Kritk became a tool to address assessment bias to create an inclusive learning environment.

With peer assessment in Kritik, Dr. Staley was able to set up a detailed rubric that guided students to provide meaningful and actionable feedback to their peers. As students were not used to giving critical feedback to each other, the rubric set the right expectations and gave a clear direction to give developmental feedback. He bases his rubrics on 7 different parameters:

  1. Concept of understanding
  2. Clarity of thoughts
  3. Research accuracy
  4. Organization
  5. Focus
  6. Grammar
  7. Application to the real world

Students loved this opportunity to read the perspectives of their peers , they were driven to perform better that ultimately led to well-thoughtout submissions.

Watch the full recording of Dr. Sam Staley’s workshop

Kritik helps students build essential skills that they need before joining the workforce 

As an instructor preparing students for the workforce, Dr. Staley wanted to shift the focus from grades to delivering good quality work. As students became a part of the peer grading process, they saw how they were able to fill existing learning gaps and build essential skills. 

Offering student a more engaging way to learn, Kritik allows students to display the soft skills necessary for articulating ideas and enhancing their comprehension of the course material with peer feedback while embracing critical life lessons. This taught students to effectively communicate with each other, enabling them to take charge of their learning.

Kritik helped turnaround feedback quickly

In a class of 20 students Dr. Staley was able to administer personalized feedback within 2 days of students submitting their assignments. This quick turnaround allowed students to think about what they could have done better so that they could apply their learning to their future assignments. 

Dr. Staley assigned 3 evaluations per student, which resulted in 60+ total evaluations created. As students went through the three stages of Kritik: Create, Evaluate and Feedback, Dr. Staley got less than 2% grading disputes that he had to resolve before finalizing the grades.

"If I had to evaluate their assignment papers, the waiting might take multiple weeks. They are getting timely and personalized feedback with Kritik with its setup. The rubrics are created in such a way that students have a way to get feedback effectively. The most beautiful thing about Kritik is that it enforces peer-to-peer learning in the class and helps me dive deeper into it."

Schedule a demo with Kritik to learn how you can adapt activities and key takeaways to your courses with peer assessment to improve student engagement in classrooms and foster a more engaging learning experience.

Samuel Staley
Samuel Staley
Florida State University
Director of the DeVoe Moore Center

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