This session was jointly ran by Jeff Barrie, Department of Mechanical Engineering, who presented WebPA for peer moderated marking, and Dr Richard Kamm, School of Management, who presented Moodle Workshop for peer evaluation on essay proposals.
You can watch back a recording of the full session on Panopto for a presentation on WebPA, Moodle Workshop, and a discussion at the end.
A well known criticism of assessed group work is that each student receives the same mark, regardless of individual performance. Peer assessment allows students to rate their team member’s contributions.
WebPA is open source software which allows for students to rate each other's performance in group work, and receive adjusted marks. It is important because it is anonymous, easy to use, fair, and also encourages students to work harder in a group. There is also a massive impact relating to the group work policy set by the Students' Union.
WebPA has been used for a number of years within the Department of Mechanical Engineering with no complications or errors.
Features of WebPA include:
- Ability to set how much weighting the peer assessment has to each student (i.e. maximum deviation for an individual from the group mean)
- Ability to manage different assignments at the same time
- Ability to set assessment criteria for students (i.e. are they rating their peers on attendance, contribution, etc.)
- Different group selection methods: random or manual
- Ability to swap users between groups mid way through as assessment period
- All the usual admin features of Moodle: who has completed; delete results; when, where, and how long did it take the student to complete?
- Offline usability for in-class group activities
Reflections on using WebPA:
- Works best for groups of 4-6, otherwise individual marks don't have much deviation
- Importing csv files for setup can be difficult, though Jeff is seeking to look at how this can be improved
- Non-participants can skew results
- Release marks AFTER the assessment has been finished
In teaching one of his modules, Richard Kamm found that some students requested help via email, while others didn't for various reasons. In order to make things fair, all students now submit their essay proposals to Moodle Workshop, where both Richard and other students give feedback.
Benefits of this in a general classroom environment is that this allows the lecturer to keep in touch with all students on the unit. Also, using Moodle Workshop on this module can be used to concentrate minds and get students thinking on more topics on the course than only the one they have picked for their assignment.
Moodle Workshop is easy to set up as it is already built into Moodle, and can be used for peer assessment, for normal assessment, or just for getting students to discuss the unit’s content in a structured format. The load of feedback activity can be distributed among students rather than relying solely on staff, though moderation is necessary.
Features of Moodle Workshop include:
- Ability to set dates for automatic changing between submission stages (open submission, upload proposal, give feedback, etc.)
- Automatic or manual assignment of people to each other - though it can be beneficial to manually allocate specific people to specific topics, with the added benefit of ensuring no students are matched with those enrolled on Moodle but not active on the course
- Ability to see who and who hasn't participated
- Can get grading to be done
- Ability to set multiple criteria for feedback with instructions on what students need to do (similar to regular Moodle assignments)