Peer evaluation is at the heart of keeping students accountable to their teammates for their preparation and contribution to team activities. It is a good idea to carefully explain the evaluation process to the students and perhaps give them a formative opportunity to give each other feedback before the end of the course.
There are a variety of methods that can be suitable in different contexts. In the Fink method a multiplier is created from the peer evaluation scores and that is used to adjust the overall course grade for a particular student. In the Michaelsen method a separate team maintenance score (usually 5% of course grade) is created from evaluation results for each student. The decision to use the Fink or Michealsen method often rests on the % of course grade that is allocated to team products. When the team products make up a significant portion of the overall course grade it can make sense to use the Fink/Multiplier method.
The University of Texas method focuses on providing student with valuable written feedback on their performance (it is not used to adjust student scores).
The Koles method is a hybird between the University of Texas method and the Fink/Michaelsen method. It incorporates both formative written feedback and summative evaluations of performance.
Students are often very inexperienced at giving good feedback. It can be helpful to have them read “Making Feedback Helpful” by Michaelsen and Schultheiss.
Online Peer Evaluation
If you want to do your Peer Evaluations online the University of British Columbia
has developed free software called iPeer. The instructors sets up the evaluations and forgets about them and downloads the compiled results in Excel at semester end.
University of Texas – Austin Method