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Designing A Peer Evaluation Instrument That Is Simple, Reliable, And Valid

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.392.1 - 9.392.11



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Paper Authors

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Rufus L. Carter

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Amy G. Yuhasz

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Misty Loughry

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1526

Designing a Peer Evaluation Instrument that is Simple, Reliable, and Valid

Matthew W. Ohland, Misty L. Loughry, Rufus L. Carter, and Amy G. Yuhasz General Engineering, Clemson University / Management, Clemson University / Institutional Research and Assessment, Marymount University / General Engineering, Clemson University

Abstract As a result of ABET’s EC 2000 Criterion 3, outcome (d), “an ability to function on multi- disciplinary teams”1 this multi-university research team has focused its attention on teamwork and how it is assessed. Teamwork in engineering is often assessed using a peer evaluation instrument. It is not always clear, however, what characteristics of teamwork these instruments, or the students, are evaluating. In preparation for this multi-year NSF-supported project, the team reviewed peer evaluation literature and instruments. The research team has an ambitious assessment plan that will help develop an instrument that is easy to use and yet meaningful for both faculty and students.

Introduction In recent years, there has been a great deal of activity in engineering education research aimed at evaluating teamwork. Much of this is a result of the need to measure ABET’s EC 2000 Criterion 3, outcome (d), “an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams.”1 While there has been considerable debate on how to apply the term “multi-disciplinary,” the ability to function on a team is central to this outcome.

Though an effort to achieve this ABET outcome is sufficient motivation for many instructors to evaluate teamwork in some way, peer evaluation that assesses each individual’s contributions to a team has the additional objective of promoting a productive cooperative learning environment. Cooperative learning (CL) is an instructional paradigm wherein teams of students work on structured tasks (e.g., homework assignments, laboratory experiments, or design projects) under conditions that meet five criteria: positive interdependence, individual accountability, face-to- face interaction, appropriate use of collaborative skills, and regular self-assessment of team functioning. Many studies have shown that when correctly implemented, cooperative learning improves information acquisition and retention, higher-level thinking skills, interpersonal and communication skills, and self-confidence.2

Many cooperative learning advocates agree that the approach works best if team grades are adjusted for individual performance. Millis and Cottell give five strong reasons for using peer evaluation to adjust student grades:

1. “Teachers, because they are not the sole arbiters of success or failure, play less of a gatekeeper role responsible for weeding out the unfit and the unworthy. The process of evaluation is shared. 2. Students are in a logical position to judge the individual contributions of their peers far more effectively than an instructor can.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Carter, R. L., & Yuhasz, A. G., & Loughry, M., & Ohland, M. (2004, June), Designing A Peer Evaluation Instrument That Is Simple, Reliable, And Valid Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13087

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