Peer Grading

In looking at my Walden University peers blogs, I found many of them interesting. I believe I subscribed to at least one blog from each of my fellow classmates as well as their own blog (created for our class). The one I found most interesting (and a topic near and dear to my own classroom) had to do with peer grading and creating this for an online classroom (Peer Grading in Online Classrooms).

I have my students peer grade for Collaborative Work Skills, which I had found on another web site and adapted for my own classroom. I made it so many years ago that I do not remember which web site I found it on. This is a 32-point rubric, with each category worth 4 points. Students are graded on the following topics:

  • Contribution
  • Quality of Work
  • Time Management
  • Problem-solving
  • Attitude
  • Focus on the Task
  • Pride
  • Working with Others

I have found an interesting phenomenon with peer grading among high school students, you cannot just do it once. It needs to be taught and reinforced throughout the course. I tell my students this is the same as getting evaluated on the job for a raise, promotion or bonus. There will be times you are asked to give input on a fellow employee or another employee will be asked to give input on them. The questions I give them are: “Do you want someone to get a raise, promotion or bonus if you did all the work? How truthful will you be?”

During the first attempt at peer grading, students are apt to be kinder and gentler, because they do not want to cause someone else to get a “bad” grade. The more they are exposed to this particular type of grading, which the teacher has no input on, the more likely they are to be honest. I found that after a while, in a group setting, students get tired of seeing the same people being lazy and still getting a good grade.

I believe this would be beneficial in an online course as well. It would probably take a little more time to set up, whether setting up a group project or a specific assignment, but it would be well worth the effort. This makes the class as a whole more aware of how in-depth some students are working, and the students who work only with surface information may take the extra effort on any other assignments for the course.

We need to teach our students to be critical of, not only their own work, but the work of others. Students may find themselves in a position in their careers where they have to evaluate themselves and/or their colleagues. They may end up working in management. If we do not take the time to teach them to be critical of everyone’s work, where will they learn the necessary skills?