Facilitating Better Peer Evaluations

Ed Nelling, PhD, CFA, professor of finance, uses class group projects to encourage students to learn to work together to complete tasks and analyze business problems. Nelling says, “The biggest challenge is that they need to get to know their classmates and their work habits. That group dynamic has to evolve.”

Another challenge occurs when some students are not doing their share. Nelling has used in-class, paper evaluations to give students an opportunity to rate their peers. If students know that they will be evaluated, it makes them more aware of their contribution and how they interact with their group. In the past, Nelling was the only person to review this feedback. The students did not have an opportunity to see it themselves.

However, he recently started using TeamMates, an online peer evaluation tool, to enhance the process. TeamMates allows for more thoughtful reflection and is easy to setup. In contrast to using paper, the evaluation form is online, anonymous and students can complete it without the added stress of having other group members nearby.

Nelling was pleased to see students take more time to provide comments about others than they did on paper. “I think it provides an opportunity to reflect on your own contribution, as well as that of your teammates,” he said.

If you would like to learn more about using TeamMates, contact LeBow InTech.

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