Introducing peer assessment into your group assignments will allow you to calculate fair grades for contribution and reduce the rates of social loafing (Karau & Williams, 1993). In fact, if students know that their performance on a group project is going to be evaluated by their peers, studies found increased rates of group sharing, cooperation, and team performance (Erez, LePine, and Elms 2002).
Providing and receiving feedback does not come naturally for most students. For students to learn how to provide and receive meaningful feedback, they must be provided with a structured feedback framework that targets the most important elements related to task accomplishment and leadership. The Peer Assess Pro feedback survey was adapted from Sandra Deacon Carr’s Team Learning Assistant Workbook. The survey contains ten quantitative questions. Five questions address contribution and task accomplishment and five questions address contribution to leadership and group processes. In addition, three qualitative questions help the student clarify the quantitative ratings and provide the assessed student guidance how to improve their future contribution.
Peer Assess Pro has the most detailed reporting of any peer assessment tool on the market today. This reporting provides the teacher with insights into the health of the teams – teachers will know which teams are working well together and which teams aren’t. Teachers will also be able to identify problem students within a group so that corrective action can be taken to get the team back on track. Students are also provided with detailed reporting that lets them know how their teammates assessed their performance across the 10 different criteria and how their performance ranks within their group and within the class as a whole.
Determining an individual’s score from a group project is not an easy task, which is why many teachers award everyone in the group with the same score. This method is grossly unfair and leads to social loafing and student disharmony. Peer Assess Pro (PAP) uses structured peer feedback to calculate an individual’s score. PAP offers teachers four different methods for determining individual scores from a team-based project (see illustration below). The following are the two most popular methods.
Implementing and managing peer feedback can be a time-consuming process for teachers. Tasks such as determining whether every student has provided peer feedback for every team member, collating all of the feedback, determining individual grades from a group mark based on the feedback, and then creating and distributing a report for each student can be so arduous that most time-poor teachers will simply forgo the process. This is unfortunate because the value of peer feedback as a critical component of student learning and development is immeasurable.
My students use Peer Assess Pro to assess their teammates’ teamwork skills in Team-Based Learning. Timely feedback to team members means that they learn where they are making a positive impact and where they need to improve.
Peer Assess Pro allows me to quickly and efficiently take the pulse of all of my teams and fairly award individual marks based on how well they performed in the team and their overall contribution to the project.