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Exploring Advantages of the Implementation of a Peer-Assessment Tool in a First-Year Undergraduate Course

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2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Minneapolis, MN

Publication Date

August 23, 2022

Start Date

June 26, 2022

End Date

June 29, 2022

Conference Session

Architectural Engineering Division Technical Session 2

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Paper Authors


Rania Al-Hammoud University of Waterloo

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Dr. Al-Hammoud is a Faculty lecturer in the department of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Al-Hammoud has a passion for teaching where she continuously seeks new technologies to involve students in their learning process. She is actively involved in the Ideas Clinic, a major experiential learning initiative at the University of Waterloo. She is also responsible for developing a process and assessing graduate attributes at the department to target areas for improvement in the curriculum. This resulted in several publications in this educational research areas.
Dr. Al-Hammoud won the "Ameet and Meena Chakma award for exceptional teaching by a student” in 2014 and the "Engineering Society Teaching Award" in 2016 and the "Outstanding Performance Award" in 2018 from University of Waterloo. Her students regard her as an innovative teacher who continuously introduces new ideas to the classroom that increases their engagement.

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Vaishnavi Pasalkar University of Waterloo

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Miss. Vaishnavi Pasalkar is a 3A Architectural Engineering student at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. As an undergraduate student, Miss. Pasalkar is passionate about learning, constantly seeking new opportunities to better her understanding. She is actively involved in Women in Engineering at the university, an organization that focuses on fostering interest in engineering for women-identifying individuals. She has also been involved in both the Warrior Home design team as well as Engineers Without Borders. Miss. Pasalkar has gained hands-on industry experience through various co-op opportunities in the industry, such as AutoCAD drafting ACM panel systems at Sobotec and conducting construction inspections for Rail and Transit Systems at WSP. She hopes to continue expanding her knowledge by always striving for excellence in various areas both academically and professionally.

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Benefits of peer-assessments have been recognized for quite some time. Research has shown that the impact of peer-evaluations on students’ learning experience, is one that is positive and focuses on building critical thinking and metacognitive skills. This research aims to provide insight on the opportunities and effects of integrating peer-assessments in a University of Waterloo first-year engineering course’s model as the primary assessment method.

To explore this, Kritik, a third-party platform that focuses on peer-learning through peer-assessment, was used as part of a solid mechanics course offered to first year engineering students at the University of Waterloo. In this course, first-year engineering students were required to complete various hands-on lab activities, and a final project as a group. Once submitting their initial work on the platform, they were then required to individually assess their peers’ work, and then individually reflect on the grades that they received. The grade they received for their group work, the quality of their peer evaluations, and the feedback they provided on the grades they received from their peers were all factors of their final individual grade for each assessment. This encouraged students to evaluate each other’s work in a genuine manner—increasing the viability of their evaluations.

The results show an increase in understanding of course concepts, less stress on the teaching team due to reduced grading, and an increase in opportunity for the students to fully experience what the course offers in a realistic time frame—an opportunity that is scarce due to the length of academic terms and the sheer amount of course content to be taught.

Al-Hammoud, R., & Pasalkar, V. (2022, August), Exploring Advantages of the Implementation of a Peer-Assessment Tool in a First-Year Undergraduate Course Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN.

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