Tag Archives: peer assessment

Conference Follow-Up Questions on Peer Assessment

Someone who attended my conference presentation last month about Peer Assessment (see the blog entry here for slides), sent me some follow-up questions that I thought might be useful to capture here. Thanks for your questions! My responses are signaled by >>.

* How do you train students in the use of a rubric and in effective peer review, particularly in such a large class?

>> we developed the Peer Assessment Training workshop, which can be adapted for anyone to use https://peerassessment.arts.ubc.ca/ . If you have access to Canvas there’s a template and a demo in the Commons. If you don’t, stay tuned to our peerassessment website… we’re working on a fully open WordPress version for launch soon.

* How do your students respond to being graded by novice peers like themselves, rather than a more expert instructor or TA?  Does it take some convincing, or do you just present the evidence of the effectiveness of peer assessment and move on?

>> there is a range of opinions… but there’s a range of opinions about every pedagogical decision! I show them the evidence, make sure the assessment isn’t valued too highly, and give people a form to submit to have their grade re-evaluated by me if they want. That takes care of most concerns.

* You mentioned Peter Graf also assesses the quality of the peer assessments as well; do you know how he handles this?  (For instance, does the student being evaluated also reciprocally evaluate their peer reviewer?  Or is it something the TA does?)

>> He and his TAs grade the comments. It moves pretty quickly when they’re exported in a spreadsheet.

* In your slides, you mention two additional challenges: Students don’t trust each other, and comments were poor quality.  How did you address those challenges?  Any recommendations/ideas for how you would do it in the future?

>> The strategies above generally address these concerns.


>> If you’d like to try it out but are nervous about scale, you could always treat it as an opt-in pilot, so a sub-group of students try it out and give feedback. In a class of 440 I’m sure you can find at least a dozen students willing to participate… that’s one nice thing about very large classes!

Presenting on Peer Assessment at the STP Conference

I’m delighted to be presenting on Saturday morning at the Society for the Teaching of Psychology’s Annual Conference on Teaching in Phoenix, Arizona (https://teachpsych.org/conferences/act.php). The title of my talk is “Peer Assessment of writing in large classes: Reliability, validity, and improving student attitudes.” Here’s a copy of my slides:  RawnTalk_STP_2018. Here is the rubric/assignment handout I give to students that I reference in this talk: Writing to Learn Instructions for Students 2017.

Are you here at ACT? The talk is 10:30am, Saturday Oct 20, Room Crescent3. I’ve prepared more than I expect to discuss. Come with questions if you like so we can spend more time on what the group is most interested in discussing.

Are you *not* here at ACT? Check out the action on Twitter! #stp18act

peerScholar V Canvas Peer Review

If these terms mean anything to you, you might be interested in checking out my short report, where I pit peerScholar and Canvas Peer Review tool head-to-head. Yes, it’s absolutely like Batman V Superman: really we’re all actually friends just trying to  reach a common goal (i.e., facilitate student peer review).* Extra extra thanks to the students who participated and gave feedback, making this report possible.

Finding a Tool to Facilitate Peer Review in Large Classes

*Obviously I’m Wonder Woman in this analogy.

On Using Peer Assessments

Jenny Wong and Jason Myers at Arts ISIT interviewed me about my TLEF-funded project and general use of peer assessment in my classes. Here’s what I had to say: http://isit.arts.ubc.ca/catherine-rawn-uses-peer-assessments-to-encourage-peer-based-learning/. IMHO the most interesting idea was this:

The more we move towards peer anything, the university is going to have to collectively rethink the message that we send to students regarding who holds knowledge, who’s allowed to hold knowledge and who holds the most valuable knowledge and that’s not always the professor.