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Peer Assessment and Evaluation in Team-Based Learning



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5 This chapter discusses the merits of peer assessment and evaluation the instructional guidelines issues and considerations for their use in the TBL classroom and a brief description of peer assessment methods and information on how to access forms Peer Assessment and Evaluation in Team Based Learning Christina M Cestone Ruth E Levine Derek R Lane In contrast to traditional courses in which students are accountable only to the instructor effective implementation of any group based instructional format including team based learning TBL requires that students be accountable to both the instructor and their peers Unfortunately some instructors resist using groups because of concerns about using peer evaluations or poorly designed group assignments and grading systems that in effect reward and encourage social loafing Furthermore their concerns seem as equally focused on unfairly raising the grades of poor students who may be carried along by hard working members as they are about the potential of penalizing hard working students who may receive a lower course grade because they were randomly assigned to a poorly performing group With TBL however these concerns are largely eliminated by using a comprehensive feedback and grading system that ensures individual student accountability to both the instructor and peers by using a grading system that has an individual performance component a team performance component and a peer evaluation component Michaelsen 1992 Michaelsen Knight and Fink 2004 Chapter One this volume Individual student grade incentives for accountability in TBL courses are derived from four separate but interrelated sources individual preparation scores on the individual readiness assurance test collective preparation scores on the team readiness assurance test how well knowledge is applied by individuals NEW DIRECTIONS FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING no 116 Winter 2008 Wiley Periodicals Inc Published online in Wiley InterScience www interscience wiley com DOI 10 1002 tl 334 69 70 TEAM BASED LEARNING SMALL GROUP LEARNING S NEXT BIG STEP within a team as a team to solve progressively difficult problems application exercise scores and contributions to interpersonal group dynamics team maintenance cohesion and team productivity peer evaluation scores Peer assessment and evaluation are essential elements of TBL for two reasons First peer assessment provides formative process information to help individual students improve team performance over time and develop the interpersonal and team skills essential for their future success Second peer evaluation scores provide summative outcome data to the instructor that can be used to ensure fairness in grading by incorporating an assessment of each member s contributions to the success of their teams and make judgments about it Falchikov and Goldfinch 2000 Topping Smith Swanson and Elliot 2000 Topping 2005 This chapter discusses the pedagogical merits of peer assessment and evaluation as mechanisms for enhancing student accountability and presents the instructional guidelines issues and considerations for use in the TBL classroom It concludes with a brief description of peer assessment methods and information about how to access and use the corresponding forms Pedagogical Merits of Peer Assessment and Evaluation TBL is a unique pedagogical strategy that facilitates the development of a variety of skills relative to future professional pursuits including individual accountability problem solving interpersonal communication teamwork and organizational skills Brindley and Scoffield 1998 Boud Cohen and Sampson 1999 Butcher et al cited in Cheng and Warren 2000 Lane 2007 Levine 2008 TBL provides students with multiple and varied opportunities to develop these skills as they engage in team activities including team readiness assurance tests tRATs group preparation of written appeals and application oriented problem solving activities and exams Michaelsen Knight and Fink 2004 Students also receive a number of benefits from engaging in the process of peer assessment and evaluation For example judgment by peers seems to provide a more significant motivator to produce high quality work than does the assessment of a single instructor Searby and Ewers 1997 As a result when peers are accountable to each other the time spent comparing work and discussing ideas and concepts in teams is more productive Put simply students learn from the cognitive processes of their peers Brindley and Scoffield 1998 Furthermore when students become assessors they are required to show a more thoughtful understanding of the processes involved in the activity Searby and Ewers 1997 In their meta analysis of peer assessment studies Dochy Segers and Sluijmans 1999 identified several positive effects of using various peer self and coassessment processes to improve the quality of learning Two of the most prominent were increased confidence in one s performance and increased quality in the learning output Peer assessment and evaluation also NEW DIRECTIONS FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING DOI 10 1002 tl PEER ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION IN TEAM BASED LEARNING 71 serve to help students take more control over their learning through development of critical analysis of the work of others Searby and Ewers 1997 Repeated reading of peer writing for example reinforces analysis of one s own work processes and makes the learning more visible to the learner Topping Smith Swanson and Elliot 2000 Similarly music composition students who were responsible for analyzing the compositions of other students were better able to recognize the components of a quality composition against which they could hold their own work Searby and Ewers 1997 Peer assessment is also useful for helping students to scrutinize the purposes and objectives of a course Smith Swanson and Elliot 2000 When conducted prior to the end of the semester peer evaluation enabled earlier identification of misunderstandings or gaps in thinking Searby and Ewers 1997 that could then be addressed by targeted discussion of specific course content Finally peer assessment and evaluation are essential to a comprehensive grading process in TBL because team members are typically the only ones who have enough information to accurately assess one another s contributions Michaelsen 2004 Student Perceptions of Peer Assessment and Evaluation An examination of the literature across disciplines indicates a range of differences in terms of learner acceptance


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