Peer Review for Trainees

In one week in 2010, educators nominated the best articles about rethinking higher education. Organizers as the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University compiled the submissions into an e-book called Hacking the Academy.

One of the provocative ideas there for shaking up traditional academia is from Cathy Davidson, former Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies at Duke. She describes an experiment in “crowdsourcing” student grades. Rather than the faculty member alone evaluate student performance, she had fellow class members determine if a student’s work was satisfactory.

This approach eliminated some of the usual student jockeying to perform for the teacher and gave them a wider audience. The method could easily be applied to clinical teaching settings where peers observe each other’s performance.

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6 Responses to “Peer Review for Trainees”

  1. christopher shanahan says:

    I am teaching a combined course with a few other faculty (BUSM, BUSPH, BUSDM) that incorporates team members scorings of teammates into a portion of their overall grade. We have done this for 2 years without issue. One observation is that the student colleageal evaluations tends to be more specific and also much harder on each other than the facutly.

  2. Peter Cahn says:

    I’ve noticed that dynamic, too. I wonder why peers grade each other more harshly.

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