Saturday, November 28, 2015

How to best do your peer assessment assignments in online courses

I have again used up my weekend to catch up on my Coursera courses, and time well spent.

However, I was finding it hard when it comes to assessing the assignments of my peers. As much as I want to be generous in my assessment, which I usually am, I found it hard this time in the peer assessment of the final exam assignment in On Strategy: What Managers Can Learn From Philosophy - Part 1.

And from what I have learnt in my own submission, my peers' assessment of my work and my assessment of theirs, I think these will be good pointers on how to submit a good assignment in Coursera.

1. The most important point to take note is that the people who are assessing your papers are not experts. They probably just know as much as you do. Therefore, you need to present your paper clearly in the simplest form and language as you possibly can. If your arguments are all over the place or if your explanations are too complicated, most probably you will not be getting good assessments from your peers.

2. Read the assignment question properly and ensure you have met all the requirements. You need to know what exactly is required of you. For example, if they want two arguments, make sure you do have exactly two clearly different arguments.

3. Take note in the length required. This paper for example puts the requirements in number of characters, not words. I was assessing a paper which was 1500 words in length, when it was actually just 1500 characters required!

4. Arrange your assignment in sections according to the requirements. For example, if they asked for two arguments, title your sections Argument 1 and Argument 2. This will simplify it for your peers to give you the marks you deserve.

5. If you were to write a paper based on a topic taught in the online lectures, state the title and lecture number at the beginning of your paper. Not everyone will remember if your chosen topic were actually from the lectures. And you would have saved them the time to go check and keep their attention on your paper to give you your points.

6. Before you submit your work, check it though the evaluation criteria, i.e. what exactly will award you the points. This will enable you to ensure that you have included stuff that will actually give you the points. I have assessed assignments which have good information and views but because it does not meet the requirements, I could not award any points at all.

This is what I have so far. I will add on more when I come across more examples and when I submit and assess more assignments.


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