April 9, 2013
Peer and self-evaluation of participation in discussion
We often focus on presentation skills as oral communication skills, but students more frequently need to either lead or contribute to productive group discussions. Small group discussions can easily go off the rails when students indulge in off-topic talking, inadequate listening, and disrespectful behavior. The dynamic quality of class discussion presents challenges to faculty who would like to hold students accountable for the quality of their participation in these discussions.
Multhaup (2008) describes how to prepare students for substantive class discussions and suggests two strategies for evaluating student contributions to class discussion. Many of these strategies can be adapted for the online environment.
Establish ground rules for effective class discussion(first week of class)
Establish expectations for class discussions by facilitating a think-pair-share activity during the first week of the term.
Use the comments from the group discussion to identify some ground rules and expectations for individual participation in class discussion during the remainder of the term.
Adaptation for eLearning: Create a threaded discussion based on questions such as
Peer evaluation of the quality of participation in discussion
Require students to complete a Participation Survey 3 or 4 times during the term. Each student must complete the following three evaluation elements for every student in the class, including themselves:
Compile the collective (anonymous) feedback for individual students and distribute this feedback to each student. If necessary, edit comments or add your own comments.
Adaptation for eLearning: Create a drop box assignment or survey in eLearning in which students answer these questions. You can make completion of the feedback a graded assignment (completed/not completed), compile the feedback information for individual students, and distribute this feedback through the course email function or provide it as feedback in the dropbox.
If you ask students to facilitate discussion, gather peer feedback about this skill
After each facilitated discussion, members of a discussion group complete a peer feedback survey for the discussion leader. The peer feedback answers the following questions:
Provide feedback several times during the term to enable students to improve their participation and discussion skills over time.
Multhaup, K. S. (2008, Spring). Using class discussions to improve oral communication skills. Teaching Tips (APA Division 20 – Adult Development and Aging).
October 9, 2012
Resources for teaching strategies (ASKe site at Oxford Brookes University)
Oxford Brookes University Business School (UK) established the Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange (ASKe), which is currently associated with the Pedagogy Research Centre. ASKe publishes brochures (called the 1, 2, 3, leaflets) that describe practical and effective evidence-based strategies that faculty can implement to improve students' learning. All of the suggestions are based on research evidence and can be implemented in a few steps. The brochures are short (2-8 pages) and can be downloaded as PDF files.
The URL for the ASKe index of current titles is:
Current titles include:
How to make your feedback work in three easy steps
Using generic feedback effectively
Making peer feedback work in three easy steps
Getting the most from Groupwork Assessment
Cultivating community: Why it's worth doing and three ways of getting there
Reduce the risk of plagiarism in just 30 mins
August 31, 2010
Information Literacy: Create assignments that encourage students to use feedback to improve their work
Faculty are often frustrated when they discover that the student papers from the previous term that they spent considerable time writing comments on are still languishing in the department office, unread by the students who wrote these papers and who might never come to retrieve them. Feedback is useful only if it is received in a timely manner and the person who receives the feedback has an opportunity to act on the feedback and correct problems.
How can faculty motivate students to read and use the feedback written on their work? If you expect students to learn from formative feedback on their work, provide them an opportunity in your course to practice using feedback to improve their work. You can do this in two ways:
April 8, 2008
A peer review assignment is an effective way to engage students in the critical analysis of writing. Peer reviews also provide students with useful feedback to improve final drafts of a written assignment. Adding peer review as an interim assignment for a large project will deter procrastination. Students must prepare a first draft for the larger project in advance of the due date in order to complete the peer review assignment. This activity may also deter plagiarism because students must revise their work based on the comments and suggestions provided by peer reviewers.
Each student submits two copies of the written assignment for peer review two weeks before the final draft is due. These are distributed to two peer reviewers. You can ensure that all students receive at least one competent peer review if you assign papers to peer reviewers based on an index of class performance (e.g., assign reviews so that each paper is reviewed by one student in the top half of the class and one student in the bottom half of the class based on average exam scores). Students are more likely to write peer reviews with good, constructive feedback if they are given specific guidelines and asked to support their comments with evidence. A peer review rubric can structure the peer review process. Contact Claudia Stanny at CUTLA for a sample rubric for peer reviewers. Schedule the due date for the peer reviews so that students receive their peer reviews one week before the due date for the written assignment.
Because students take assignments more seriously if they contribute meaningfully to their final grade, the peer review should be a graded assignment. A Pass/Fail grade that is based on submitting a draft and completing the peer review on time works well to ensure students complete peer reviews and return them to fellow students in time to allow students to revise their work.
Dr. Claudia Stanny, PSY6217
Peer Review: Draft of Research Proposal
Updated 04/09/13 cdw
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