Saturday, May 5, 2012

Peer-Graded Presentations

In my social issues class, I'm having students do a big group presentation, where I assign 50% of the grade and their classmates assign the other 50%.  We use the same grading criteria (interesting/good information/visuals/handout).  It's the first time I've done presentations this way and the results so far have been quite interesting.

The students assign grades an average of 4 points lower (out of 35).  I think it might have something (A LOT!) to do with only 30% of the class being able to get "A's."  Or, they might have higher expectations.  One thing I have noticed is that they seem to like the presentations that I thought weren't great, and not be so impressed with ones that I liked.  For example, one group had an excellent presentation, but they had some technical issues with their Powerpoint.  I would never grade a group lower due to technical difficulties, but most of the class did, and commented on it being an issue.  And, the students seem to be a lot more forgiving than I am about students reading their presentations (even though I told everyone it was a big no-no).  Maybe they feel some empathy! 

An interesting experiment and one that I'd probably do again in the future.  It definitely prevents people from sleeping!


praxidice said...

This is useful to know! I might try the same thing, especially to keep students from sleeping or otherwise not paying attention during group presentations.

One question: Why wouldn't you grade down for Powerpoint issues? Shouldn't that be rehearsed beforehand? Unless it was something beyond their control, I think. Just curious!

Thanks for the post.

Jackie Bolen said...

To me, it's more about their English skills vs. PPT skills. It's not a class on how to use technology.