He Said, She Said: What to Do When Peer Evaluations Are Inconsistent

Zoey Lê
Ensightful App Inc.
3 min readFeb 9, 2022

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Peer evaluations keep students accountable — to some degree. Every instructor has dealt with a team where team members provide contrasting accounts of their actual workload, and there seems to be no way of determining who did what.

Let’s be honest: when you are working on grades at the end of the semester, student disagreements are the last thing you want to deal with. Peer evaluations should help instructors determine a fair grade distribution, not add on extra work for you.

In this article, we will highlight how Ensightful can help instructors determine the actual workload distribution and evaluate students fairly.

Ensuring fair work distribution

In Ensightful, students will create tasks, assign the workload (low, medium, high — based on how long it takes to complete the task), and distribute them to a task owner. Ensightful will then calculate the percentage of each student’s workload and visualize them as below:

As an instructor, you and your teaching team will have access to each student team’s workload analytics. This allows you to determine who was responsible for each task. As you can see here, Vanessa takes on the most tasks at 37%, while Allen’s workload only stands at 13%.

The distribution chart will help everyone visualize their workloads and add another layer of accountability for students.

Ensightful will facilitate a transparent collaboration environment for students. Feedback on assignments can indicate the quality of work. To prevent free-riding team members from creating last-minute tasks, you can also review the Activity page to make sure their contribution has been consistent throughout the semester.

Gaining insights into team dynamics

Instructors will also have access to the team’s Task Board. On this Kanban-style board, students will move tasks between the To Do, In Progress, Under Review, and Completed columns. Here, you can check the tasks to see if they were finished on time and whether students provided each other feedback on each assignment. By the end of the semester, all tasks should be marked complete.

Since you also have access to the team’s #general chat, it is a good idea to quickly go through the channel to see if you can surface any issues within the group.

Ensightful will add an extra layer of student accountability without creating more work for instructors. Fair assessment is a great concern for many instructors and students. Ensightful understands this, and a little bird told us that a new feature might be coming soon to help instructors with peer evaluations… Stay tuned!

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