A common scenario faculty members encounter is that they wish to have students assess each other's work while also allowing the students to choose from a list of groups or students who they will evaluate. This typically leads the faculty down a path of setting up a Peer Assessment in which students aren't expected to complete all of the rubrics that are assigned to them but merely a select number. However, just because students are evaluating their peers does not mean that the Peer Assessments tool is a correct (or even good) choice in this case.
Imagine a situation where there are ten course groups and the faculty does not care which groups are evaluated, only that students evaluate two of the groups. The faculty chooses the "Everyone Evaluates One Group" assessment type and selects all of the groups in the course, thus assigning all groups to all students.
The problem with this setup is that the Peer Assessments tool is designed with the expectation that students will complete all of their assigned assessments, regardless of outside faculty instruction. Therefore, assigning every student every group to choose from but only expecting them to evaluate some of these groups ends up causing problems. The teaching team will later have a difficult time determining which students have actually completed their work. This is nearly impossible to do in an automated fashion in the Peer Assessment tool and results in sparsely populated data across the assessment.
Alternative Method: Surveys
If faculty wish to give students flexibility in whose work they will evaluate, they should instead opt to use a survey, as this will allow them to achieve the same goal while avoiding the aforementioned issues.
In keeping with the previous example, a survey for students choosing two groups to assess should have two identical sections: one for the first group with a field for students to enter the group name and then the evaluative questions, and a second duplicate section for the second group. The same goes for a situation where students need to evaluate three of seven peer papers in their assigned group. You should create a single survey with three sections — one for each student paper.
This survey method still allows students to choose which groups/students they will evaluate, all while preserving efficiency for both the system and the grading process.
How to Create a "Peer Assessment" Survey
- On the Faculty Tools page, click Surveys or Lecture, LiveTalk Evaluations and Other Surveys underneath Communication Tools (the link will be different depending on the course).
- Click Create New Survey.
- Select your survey setup options. Be sure to link the survey to the schedule on this page or in the Schedule Builder so that students can access the survey.
- Click Save.
- This will bring you to the Add/Edit Questions to Survey view, where you can add different types of questions that let students choose which groups/students to evaluate, as well as the evaluative questions.
An example of how this could be executed is shown below:
Note: If access of Drop Box files is necessary for students to evaluate each other's work, the relevant Drop Box must be set to Allow students to view classmates' assignments. This will allow students to see other students' Drop Box submissions and download them.