- Apr 2021
One of my favourite techniques... And one I set up in a simple way.
I typically have some form of weekly contribution which is posted publicly and assessed by other members of the class. Basically: the output of low-stakes assignments are posts in a forum and students rate one another using a simple scale (eg. satisfactory, excellent, unsatisfactory). The aggregate ratings make up that grade. And there's a grade for those peer-ratings.
A basic need this technique fulfills is about getting continuous feedback. Though shallow, ratings tend to satisfy some of the most grade-obsessed students, Which makes it easier for me to focus on the learning process.
What's more interesting, though, is that it gets learners to pay attention to each other's work. Unlike the typical "I need you to comment on five posts", it's more of a nudge. The effect is that there's a lot more reference to what others have said and, in some cases, it really contributes to the community-building aspect of my teaching. Sure, it's just one part of the whole process. But it does help.
So... For me, peer-assessment is almost a way to placate the grading spirits”.
Which might be the opposite of ungrading.