Student Perceptions and Reflections on Peer Review of Group Projects

Student Perceptions and Reflections on Peer Review of Group Projects

G. Thomson, D. Spooner, N. Chalashkanov (2015).  Student Perceptions and Reflections on Peer Review of Group Projects. 11.

Student Perceptions and Reflections on Peer Review in Group Projects

Gareth Thomson Mechanical Engineering & Design, Aston University UK

Daniel Spooner Mechanical Engineering, École Polytechnique de Montréal Canada

Nikola Chalashkanov Department of Engineering, University of Leicester UK

The CDIO standards, along with many other active learning philosophies, make practical project work a key aspect of their approaches. While individual projects are common, the use of group projects is generally seen as a positive in many engineering programmes :

• Reflect professional practice where purely individual work is rare. • Allow students to experience management of group projects where communication, negotiation and team organisation are to the fore. • Allow students to develop both the areas in which they excel and those where they are less strong but can improve with the support of their peers. • Allow more complex projects to be worked on than might be possible for an individual. • Meet the expectations of accrediting bodies many of whom expect group work in the programmes they approve. • May offer a more competitive (or collaborative) environment than with individual projects. • Offer logistical and resource benefits to the academics supporting the work.

Group projects are not without their own issues, which can include lack of clarity with regard to contribution of team members, some members doing very little work and internal team conflicts. A common tool often used to help clarify the contribution of team members and identify team conflicts is to carry out some form of peer review.

The nature of the peer marking and review can vary, eg :

• It may be a top up mark added to a staff marked grade. • It may be a proportional modifier of a staff marked grade. • It may be a simple single overall grade on the individual’s performance. • It may be broken down into discrete criteria – creativity, technical ability, reliability etc. • It may only feature quantitative marks, only qualitative feedback or both.

While there is, in the literature, work related to the efficacy of peer review as a learning and reflection tool, there is little which directly addresses students opinions of it as a fair and valid process. This paper presents evaluations of the performance of students on multiple peer review projects over their curriculum and also surveys students’ evolution in perceptions and experiences on the use of peer review among students.

Proceedings of the 11th International CDIO Conference, Chengdu, China, June 8-11 2015

Authors (New): 
Gareth Thomson
Daniel Spooner
Nikola Chalashkanov
Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom
École Polytechnique de Montréal, Canada
University of Leicester, United Kingdom
group work
Peer Review
CDIO Standard 5
CDIO Standard 7
CDIO Standard 8
CDIO Standard 10
CDIO Standard 11
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