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Task Objectives

  • To distribute groups grades amongst individual team members.
  • To make individuals responsible for their contribution to the products of their team.

The benefits of Peer Evaluation include:

  • It provides you with important feedback on your performance, and
  • it distributes the grades that accrue to the whole team based on individuals contribution to the team, and thus
  • it reduces free-riding or social-loafing.

This is a compulsory assignment. You have to successfully complete it in order to pass the course. If you do not complete this assignment, then your final grade will be recorded as DNC (Did not complete).

In this assignment you evaluate the contribution of your peers. This is done by allocating 100 points across your other team members. You do not evaluate your own contribution. It is important that you give more points to team members who have contributed the most to the team and fewer points to those you perceived contributing at a lower level. Thus, those who contribute the most should receive the full worth of the team's grades; those who did not contribute fully should only receive partial credit. Therefore, you may not award identical points to any two team members. This will result in a spread of at least five points between the highest and the lowest points awarded.

Some of the of the factors you might consider include:

  • Preparation: Were they prepared when they came to class?
  • Contribution: Did they contribute productively to team discussion and work?
  • Respect for others' ideas: Did they encourage others to contribute their ideas?
  • Flexibility: Were they flexible when disagreements occurred?

This list is not comprehensive so you might include other factors in your evaluation.

As well as evaluating your peer's contribution by awarding points you need to justify your evaluation. You should write one or two paragraphs of feedback to each of your peers. Typically, the justification will explain (a) why you gave the number of points, and (b) which one or two behaviours they might change to improve how you evaluated them. The justification must be meaningful and consistent with the points you allocate. It is inappropriate and misleading to award someone 5/100 and simply say "You are a hard worker who is always prepared".

The peer evaluation you give to your peers should not be a surprise. Individually, and as a team, you are responsible for providing ongoing feedback to your teammates. If someone is going off the tracks (i.e., you see their performance as unacceptable or likely to significantly damage their rating), you need to make sure that they understand that, and document (via email) your attempts to help them get back on track.

 

Such ranking systems are frequently used in industry for deciding matters such as bonuses, promotions, and in some contexts, firing (See for example, Grote, 2005).

Shortly after the due date for this assignment, you will be provided with the feedback from your peers. The feedback is not anonymous.

In case you want it, there is a description of the math behind the peer evaluation

References

Grote, D. (2005). Forced ranking: Making performance management work. Harvard Business Review Press, Cambridge MA, 1.

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