Making students active participants in the evaluation process

How Has the Pandemic Shifted Your Perspective on Grading?

By Adrián Zicari, Teaching Professor, Accounting and Management Control Department
Director of the Center of Excellence Management and Society.

“From the very beginning, we decided on a combination of evaluation tools. Some of those tools are conventional (automatically graded multiple choice exams, for example), but one is not: supervised peer assessments. I have to admit that, at first, I was not convinced this concept would work. But now I see it in a different light.

Here’s how it works: Students submit their essays, and then the platform assigns each student essays from three of their peers to evaluate. Students grade their colleagues’ work according to predetermined guidelines, and I of course remain available for consultation. Similar to how it works for academic papers, the assessment is double-blind. Having said this, the peer assessment remains supervised: once students assess their peers, I often intervene—in cases, for example, where grades differ greatly.

I ask students to provide high quality feedback, the same kind they would want to receive themselves. When I read the feedback, I’m happy to see how often it’s constructive and positive. This favorably impacts participation grades and, in turn, helps my large online class of more than 300 students develop a sense of community and mutual support in the learning process.”

Article published in “The Faculty Lounge” newsletter by Harvard Business Publishing Education