Peer Evaluation: Michaelsen’s Method

Nov 27, 2020 • 3min read

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In 1979, Larry Michaelsen, a marketing professor at the University of Oklahoma saw his class more than triple in size. Originally he taught his course through a case-based socratic seminar approach. However, with his increasing class size, his colleagues suggested switching to a more traditional lecture model.

Nevertheless, Michaelsen strongly felt that problem solving discussions facilitated deeper learning beyond what was possible through a traditional lecture. With the challenge of an rapidly increasing class size and the unwillingness to trade effectiveness with ease, Michaelsen developed Team-Based Learning (TBL).

Team-Based Learning allowed Michaelsen to incorporate application based discussions in a more collaborative learning environment. Within TBL, students are held responsible for individual work and team contributions. Thus peer evaluation was implemented as a system that ensures accountability within a team, a critical component of success in a TBL course.

This post describes peer evaluation and how Michaelsen suggests it should be done. We’ll get into the details of how he suggests structuring peer evaluation and touch upon some potential challenges with his approach.

How exactly does Michaelsen’s method work?

Michaelsen recommends that peer evaluation scores received by students should become an independent component of their course grade.

Students are assigned 10 points per team member excluding themselves. For instance, if there’s a team of 7 people, each student will receive 60 points to allocate amongst the other students in the group.

A distinctive feature of Michaelsen’s approach is that students are required to discriminate scoring among their team members which means that they can’t give the same score to all their. Moreover, students are restricted to giving a minimum score of 7 and a maximum of 13.

Since students have to give different scores to their peers, this method forces students to thoroughly consider their peers’ contributions to the team. This, in turn, translated into more thoughtful feedback and a higher opportunity for all team members to improve. Additionally, qualitative feedback is also encouraged at the end of this activity so that students can provide rationale for the scores they give to peers.

Potential issues with Michaelsen’s approach to Peer Evaluation

There are two related issues that arise from this approach to peer evaluation.

The first is in regard to student satisfaction. Occasionally, students complain about the fact that this method requires them to discriminate among their team members. Some students genuinely believe everyone has contributed equally, however, they are forced to discriminate scoring. This creates dissatisfaction, complaints and generally a feeling that the methodology is not fair.

This dissatisfaction in turn, engenders a second issue - some students try to play the system. They do this by colluding on scoring such that each student’s score averages out to be the same after all team members’ have submitted their peer evaluations.

Other peer evaluation methods, such as Fink’s, Texas Tech’s and Koles’ methods don’t have these disadvantages.

If you’re interested in additional information about the available methods for peer evaluation, consider this resource: Peer Evaluation In Team-Based Learning: The Definitive Guide.

Have you already decided your preferred peer evaluation method? See our post on the 4 Best Practices For A Successful Peer Evaluation for seamless implementation.

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. Sibley, Jim; Ostafichuk, Pete. Getting Started With Team-Based Learning (p. 8). Stylus Publishing.

 

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Dr. Judy Currey Professor Deakin University
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Dr. Tom DeWitt Professor Michigan State University
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Dr Chitra Pai Professor Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine
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Tanya Bomsta Curriculum Project Manager The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy
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Dr Grady Campbell Professor Nova Southeastern University
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"Student evaluations were higher the semester we used InteDashboard than the previous semesters we held TBL in in-person setting."
Russell Marcus Department Chair & Associate Professor Hamilton College
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Hillel W. Cohen, Dr.P.H. Professor Associate Director of Curriculum, Clinical Research Training Program Albert Einstein College of Medicine
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Dr Gemma Quinn Senior Lecturer University of Bradford
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Michael E. Woods, Ph.D. Associate Professor Pathology & Director of Research Laboratories Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine
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Paul Mcdermott Senior Lecturer University of East Anglia School of Pharmacy
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"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."
Steve Schneid Managing Director University of California
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"I just want to say I love InteDashboard, and it is an integral part of my teaching!"
Dr. Julie M Estis Associate Professor University of South Alabama
Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill
"Outstanding tool for face-to-face, web-blended and fully online TBL courses! We've been using InteDashboard across several TBL classes at the University of South Alabama and are consistently impressed with the tool as well as the exceptional support from the team. We look forward to increasing utilization of InteDashboard through our campus-wide project."
Dr. Sandy Cook Senior Associate Dean, Education Duke-National University of Singapore Medical School
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."
Dr. John Chapman Assistant Professor Southern Virginia University
Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill
"I'm convinced, and I've done a fair amount of looking over the past few years to identify an online quizzing/survey tool that allows for individual question submission and real-time feedback (especially for the TRAT). InteDashboard really is the premier solution in this category. Bar none. Hands down."
Dr. Jennifer Styron Assistant Professor Eastern Virginia Medical School
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."
Dr. Judy Currey Professor Deakin University
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."
Dr. Tom DeWitt Professor Michigan State University
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."
Victor Holmes Assistant Professor University of North Texas Health Science Center
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."
Dr. Sarada Harichand Bulchand Lead Associate Duke-National University of Singapore Medical School
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."
Matthew Robson Senior Learning Designer Macquarie University
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!"
Dr Chitra Pai Professor Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine
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."
Tanya Bomsta Curriculum Project Manager The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy
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."
Dr Grady Campbell Professor Nova Southeastern University
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."
Russell Marcus Department Chair & Associate Professor Hamilton College
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."
Hillel W. Cohen, Dr.P.H. Professor Associate Director of Curriculum, Clinical Research Training Program Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill
"InteDashboard allowed a seamless transition from paper-pencil response forms to electronic response."
Dr Gemma Quinn Senior Lecturer University of Bradford
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."
Michael E. Woods, Ph.D. Associate Professor Pathology & Director of Research Laboratories Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine
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."
Paul Mcdermott Senior Lecturer University of East Anglia School of Pharmacy
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."
Steve Schneid Managing Director University of California
Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill
"I just want to say I love InteDashboard, and it is an integral part of my teaching!"
Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill
"Outstanding tool for face-to-face, web-blended and fully online TBL courses! We've been using InteDashboard across several TBL classes at the University of South Alabama and are consistently impressed with the tool as well as the exceptional support from the team. We look forward to increasing utilization of InteDashboard through our campus-wide project."
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
"I'm convinced, and I've done a fair amount of looking over the past few years to identify an online quizzing/survey tool that allows for individual question submission and real-time feedback (especially for the TRAT). InteDashboard really is the premier solution in this category. Bar none. Hands down."
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."
Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill Star Fill
"I just want to say I love InteDashboard, and it is an integral part of my teaching!"