Peer Evaluation: Fink’s method

Nov 27, 2020 • 3min read

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L. Dee Fink has been part of the Instructional Development Program at the University of Oklahoma since 1979 where he has trained faculty of all levels through workshops and seminars. He has consulted with over 200 colleges and universities around the world and in 2004, he published “Team-Based Learning: A Transformative Use Of Small Groups In College Teaching” together with Larry Michaelsen.

In this seminal publication, he provides his perspective on how to best conduct Team-Based Learning including peer evaluation. In this blog post, we’ll consider his viewpoint on how to perform a good peer evaluation successfully.

How exactly does Fink’s method work?

Fink’s way of conducting peer evaluation is the most similar one to Michaelsen’s in comparison to other methods. In both methods, students are asked to allocate a given number of points among their peers. However these approaches differ in the way that they calculate the scores.

First, each student is given 100 points which they have to allocate among their team members.

Next, the scores each student receives from their peers are summed up to calculate their “peer score”. This peer score is multiplied by the mean of their TRAT or another teamgroup work score to adjust it based on the feedback received in the peer evaluation exercise.

For instance, if a student ends up having a peer score of 95 and their TRAT score is 80, you would multiply the latter by 0.95 arriving at a score of 76. Conversely, if a student achieves a peer score of 105 and their TRAT score is 80, you would multiply the latter by 1.05 arriving at a score of 104. Similar to Michaelsen’s approach, qualitative feedback is also encouraged by Fink to explain the rationale behind the scores each student gave its peers.

This way of conducting peer evaluation is sometimes perceived as fairer than Michaelsen’s Method because students are allowed to give their team members an equal score if they think they all contributed equally.

Potential issues with Fink’s approach to Peer Evaluation

A caveat of this technique is that, due to how scores are calculated, student scoring can have a significant impact on their peers’ grades. It is often easy for students to underestimate the impact of their evaluations on their peers’ grades, which could result in their evaluations hurting their team members’ scores.

For instance, in a group of 6 people, if all team members give a single student 18 points instead of 20 points, that would add up to 90 instead of 100. Therefore, if the student had a TRAT score of 70, it would be reduced to 63.

How do you conduct peer evaluation in your class? Do you use Fink’s or Michaelsen’s approach? Perhaps you use a combination of both or something you invented yourself. We’d love to know!

If you’re interested in getting more information about the available methods for peer evaluation refer to this resource: Peer Evaluation In Team-Based Learning: The Definitive Guide

Have you already decided which peer evaluation method to use? See our post on the 4 Best Practices For A Successful Peer Evaluation.

References

1. Levine, R.E., 2012. Peer evaluation in team-based learning. Team-Based Learning for Health Professions Education: A Guide to Using Small Groups to Improve Learning, pp.103-116.

2. Fink Consulting.[Online].Available at: http://finkconsulting.info/. [Accessed 04/06/2018]

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Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill
"The administrative challenges behind TBL are often viewed as a major barrier to effective implementation. InteDashboard is the only technological solution that puts it all together, allowing the faculty to focus on creating the learning environment - not fumbling with papers, grading and pulling data from different sources."
Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill
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Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill
"Ability to get real-time data on RAT test items during teaching and save this information (i.e. scores on assessments) has made the tool an essential element to my everyday online teaching."
Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill
"I love having real time access to my students performance data and knowing exactly what concepts have or haven’t been understood while they complete their IRATs and TRATs! InteDashboard has significantly enhanced the ease and effectiveness with which I prepare for, and teach in, my TBL classes at Deakin."
Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill
"Overall, I’ve been really pleased with how InteDashboard has elevated the ability to engage students in Team-based learning."
Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill
"The InteDashboard platform is unique in what it offers for educators and learners. The ability to interact, work with the quizzes easily, and general functionality of the program are key features not to miss. I have been able to create a more experiential learning environment allowing learners to immediately dive into experiences that simulate real clinical challenges."
Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill
"InteDashboard is a fantastic and very useful platform to conduct classes in a team-based learning setting, probably because it has all the features that team-based learning requires. The features on InteDashboard are so nuanced that they help in enhancing the learning of students, which is the core objective that the educators try to achieve from TBL methodology."
Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill
"The feature which we find most valuable is the automated grading and item analysis dashboards. They effectively provide staff and students within information that help inform what the clarification session should address. Also, The InteDashboard team provides great support. The team has been responsive to our feedback when we have asked for a possible enhancement to their tool in the past!"
Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill
"The support staff was prompt when we were in the initial phase of integrating it into Canvas. It provided the benefits of graded IRAT and TRAT and was really a seamless way to provide active learning in an online environment."
Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill
"Tech support is great, the software is easy to use and learn, online TBL is awesome (and helpful in this time of the pandemic), and the ability for easy peer review is stellar."
Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill
"Student evaluations were higher the semester we used InteDashboard than the previous semesters we held TBL in in-person setting."
Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill
"The great advantage of InteDashboard is that it is a single platform for RATs, peer evaluation, and 4S activities."
Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill
"InteDashboard allowed a seamless transition from paper-pencil response forms to electronic response."
Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill
"It's changed the way we do TBL and allowed us to do it effectively online."
Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill
"InteDashboard gives me the ability to run online TBLs with ease. The interface is intuitive for faculty and students and matches what we would have done in the classroom."
Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill
"I have recommended the product to many people already. It is a very versatile product with features that can be applied across a wide range of pedagogies. I have presented this tool to my school not just as a TBL tool but also a way to collect and analyse MCQ data and as a way to facilitate group learning and peer evaluation"