Improving Timeliness of Feedback in Writing-intensive Courses

Professor Stan Korotchenko is part of the Department of Criminal Justice at Tarleton State University and has implemented peer assessment in his writing intensive courses to improve student writing skills and turnaround time on timely and quality feedback.

We partnered with Prof. Korotchenko for a workshop for Tarleton State University professors; read on for the highlights on how Kritik has helped his students improve their evaluative, critical thinking and writing skills. 

“Kritik fits really well into this Comparative Criminal Justice class because it encourages students to actually share about their interests and passion about criminal justice.”

How does peer assessment  improve the timeliness and quality of feedback?

“It used to take a very long time for me to go through the papers. For me to review something that’s like 8-10 pages long, it would take weeks. I would turn in the feedback and then students by that time had already written the next assignment. So the feedback was not timely.”

Teaching courses with a heavy writing component, Professor Korotchenko shares how timely feedback is essential for students to improve their writing abilities, however it can be difficult to achieve especially for larger classes. With Kritik, the responsibility to grade accurately and provide quality feedback is given to students. Their peers will receive timely feedback, as well as comments that are personal to their work, something that is not necessarily achievable with larger courses and limited TA resources. By reducing the grading burden on a professor to tediously mark hundreds of papers, students learn to evaluate their peers while gaining a deeper understanding of course concepts

“Kritik teaches students to provide feedback in a regular and consistent manner. By the end of the semester, students have developed skills that make them really marketable for their future careers.”

Kritik enhances learning by making the process applicable to the real world and situations beyond the classroom. By learning how to provide quality feedback and also being able to receive and apply suggestions, students set themselves up for success in their future careers by learning how to communicate effectively.

How do rubrics set students up for success in peer assessment activities?

“My grading rubrics are very detailed. I try to leave as little discretion as possible to students.”

A detailed, clear and informative rubric helps provide students with a clear understanding of the learning objectives. As Professor Korotchenko shared, he makes sure the instructions and rubric are really clear so students remain aligned to the learning goals. This minimizes confusion and provides them with a clear path to success. This structure encourages students to take the evaluation process seriously and recognize how it is helping them grow and develop key competencies.. Kritik has preset rubric templates that can be applied to activities as well as the option to create your own rubric and tailor it to your students’ needs.

“So they grade by using a clear structured rubric and that rubric stays the same for the same type of assignments. They will really learn how to apply the same criteria to different assignments and this makes them more efficient and something that ensures that they have trust in the system and very few appeals.”

How is peer assessment beneficial to student learning?

Recent studies have shown that in our current education system today, there must be a shift in the way we approach learning to prepare students for the real world and increase their ability to demonstrate knowledge. Peer assessment is one way to encourage higher-order thinking and critical thinking skills that increases engagement and understanding of course material. 

“Those who have an idea on where they are going in their profession really understand that it’s important for them to improve their writing skills, to improve their critical thinking skills. They care about their ability to actually provide quality feedback so they appreciated this process.”

While Kritik improves the timeliness of feedback, peer evaluation benefits students far deeper through building higher-order thinking and critical thinking skills that are necessary to succeed in school and beyond.

In a recent article, we discussed the T.E.A.C.H model for providing quality feedback. You'll note that many of these aspects - including timely and explicit feedback, can be challenging for a professor to manage alone. Kritik empowers students to be involved in the feedback process while professors like Prof. Korotchenko can focus on elevating and extending learning.

Learn more about how you can benefit from Kritik today: 

Dr. Stan Korotchenko
Dr. Stan Korotchenko
Tarleton State University
Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice

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