MaryBeth Cardone


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Introduction and Intent

This mini-course on Peer Evaluation is designed to familiarize learners with the pedagogical benefits of peer evaluation, introduce strategies to utilize peer evaluation in the classroom to improve academic performance, and illuminate a shift instructional pedagogy toward student-centered classrooms. It is the intent of this mini-course to enable educators to effectively use peer evaluation as a way to empower students by taking the driver’s seat in their learning and becoming actively responsible for their academic success in the 21st century!

Needs Assessment

Problem: Peer evaluation is often an unsuccessful endeavor when appropriate practice and instruction are not put into place for students. Many times peer-based evaluations result in overly-positive, vague and generalized assessments as students tend to have a difficult time critiquing their peers. With properly scaffolded instruction methods, opportunities for practice, and clearly defined expectations peer evaluations can lead to greater academic success including stronger critical evaluation of one’s own work as well as others. Students who review work of their peers in addition to receiving feedback on their own work improve academically at a greater rate than those who solely review work of their classmates. Peer evaluation also serves as a way to instill skills for the 21st century. Real-life scenarios necessitate problem-solving, critical-thinking and collaborative work. Understanding the qualities of student-centered learning (which emphasizes 21st century learning skills) and incorporating them into peer evaluation can not only improve academic skills in students but also prepare them for success for the world ahead of them in higher-learning and the workplace. This course will address these issues and provide strategies to perform effective and meaningful peer evaluations.

The Learners This mini-course is an online lesson for educators to gain knowledge about the pedagogical benefits and implementation of peer evaluation. Examples and material used in this mini-course cover grades k-12 however general concepts and pedagogy can be applicable to all grade levels including higher education.

Instructional Context: While internet/computer access is required for educators to partake in this course, the application of the content in their own classroom does not require computers or internet access unless instructors elect to include this type of technology.

Gathering Information: In an effort to gain current and applicable data on this topic I surveyed five of my peers who are educators in grades ranging from kindergarten through college. Using a Google Docs form I surveyed the individuals about past experiences with student peer evaluation and what they found to be successful, in addition to the application of the concept in their own classrooms. Individuals were also questioned about their thoughts on how factors such as age, socioeconomic status, gender and ethnicity played a role in this type of evaluation.

A summary of these responses can be viewed here.

Summary and Analysis: Data collection showed that overall instructors found peer evaluation to be a successful endeavor. All participants reported that they would use peer evaluation in future instruction. Three of five responses showed greater success in team-based evaluation. Knowledge of student personalities was a factor as one participant reported strategically building teams that combined students with stronger verbal and social skills with more shy kids instructors were able to balance the overall group strength.It appears that much of the success in peer evaluation is that it encourages students to open-up and begin a dialogue. Instructors reported that by getting students comfortable with discussing their peer's work made them more comfortable discussing and reflecting upon their own work. Feedback supported the fact that many students have a difficult time reviewing their peers as well as lack of success in understanding evaluation criteria and expectations. Participants reported that factors like socioeconomic status, ethnicity and gender played much less of a role than factors like extroversion and introversion.

Learning Outcomes

Learners will be able to:

  • Identify the benefits of peer evaluation in the classroom. (Knowledge Level)
  • Identify key concepts in student-centered classrooms and their connection to peer evaluation. (Knowledge Level)
  • Distinguish necessary criteria for a peer evaluation. (Comprehension Level)
  • Develop peer evaluation activities in the classroom. (Synthesis Level)
  • Self-assess learning. (Evaluation Level)

Course-Level Objectives

Learners will:

  • Identify benefits of peer evaluation in the classroom by creating a list of at least 3 pedagogical benefits.
  • Evaluate a student-centered classroom and it’s connection to peer evaluation by answering 5 question multiple choice questions to identify key characteristics.
  • Discriminate key concepts of peer evaluation by playing a matching game to classify groups of opportunities for peer evaluation and peer evaluation criteria.
  • Synthesize knowledge gained in mini-course to generate and implement a lesson plan using peer evaluation.
  • Complete a self-assessment of lesson plan development and implementation by answering 4 reflection questions.

Task Analysis

Prerequisite Skills:

In order to participate in this mini-course learners must have:

  • Access to a computer.
  • Access to and basic knowledge of the internet with the ability to locate and navigate websites.
  • Previous experience in writing lesson plans.
  • Access to a classroom lesson plan implementation. (Accommodation for this prerequisite can be located in Unit 4 - Modifications)

Unit 1: The Benefits of Peer Evaluation

Learners will:

  1. Complete 3 brief lessons and review various external sources explaining the benefits and motivation for incorporating peer evaluation in the classroom. (Prerequisite knowledge)
  2. Demonstrate their understanding of the benefits of peer evaluation by creating a list of at least 3 pedagogical benefits.
  3. Answer 4 questions designed to reflect on what they have just learned, past experience with peer evaluation and any questions they might have. (Activating Prior knowledge)

Unit 2: Creating a Student-Centered Classroom

Learners will:

  1. Complete a lesson and review three external sources describing the history, characteristics and motivation for student-centered learning. (Prerequisite knowledge)
  2. Watch two brief videos explaining motivation and rationale for using student-centered classrooms to create a paradigm shift toward 21st century learning. (Prerequisite knowledge)
  3. Demonstrate their learning of student-centered classrooms and their connection to peer evaluation by answering 5 multiple choice questions.

Unit 3: What Does Peer Evaluation Look Like?

Learners will:

  1. Complete a lesson and review two strategy guides for peer evaluation. (Prerequisite knowledge)
  2. Watch a video demonstrating common mistakes made in peer review. (Prerequisite knowledge)
  3. Play a matching game to identify and classify key characteristics in peer evaluation.

Unit 4: Putting it All Together

Learners will:

  1. Complete a lesson and be shown three example lesson plans using peer evaluation. (Prerequisite knowledge)
  2. Develop and implement a lesson plan using peer evaluation in their classroom.
  3. Complete a self-assessment by uploading their lesson plan and answering 4 reflection questions.

Curriculum Map

Curriculum Map


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References and Resources

Cornell Center for Teaching Excellence. Cornell University. 2012. Retrieved from

Icojam. (Designer). Active, check, checkmark, correct, done, green Retrieved November 16, 2014, from:

International Reading Association. Strategy guide: Peer review. 2014. Retrieved from

Jones, Leo. The Student-centered classroom. 2007. New York. Cambridge University Press.

Larson, M. B., & Lockee, B. B. (2104). Streamlined ID: A practical guide to instructional design. Routledge.

Lundstrom, K., & Baker, K. (2009). To give is better than to receive: The benefits of peer review to the reviewer's own writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 18, 30-43.

[Untitled evaluation image]. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from