Fink’s Method vs. Michaelsen’s Method

Updated: Jul 17, 2018



L. Dee Fink and Larry Michaelsen propose different approaches for conducting peer evaluation. In this post, we’ll evaluate the differences between Michaelsen’s and Fink’s approaches to peer evaluation


1. How the “peer score” is calculated


The first difference lies in the nature of the “Peer Score” and how it impacts the overall grade of students. Under Michaelsen’s approach, the peer evaluation score becomes an independent component of the course grade which is then put together with other scores in order to calculate a weighted average. On the other hand, under Fink’s approach, the peer evaluation score becomes a percent multiplier which is multiplied by the students’ TRAT scores and to adjusted it for peer evaluation.


2. The number of points


The number of points assigned to each student is also different. Under Michaelsen’s approach, each student receives 10 points per team member. Hence, in a team of 5 people, each student will receive 40 points to allocate between 4 people. UOn the other hand, under Fink’s approach, each student receives a total of 100 points to allocate amongst the team members regardless of the number of team members in a team.


3. The ability to give the same score to their peers


Another key difference is the ability to not discriminate scoring between team members. Under Michaelsen’s approach, students must discriminate between their peers. Therefore, they cannot give a score of 10 to all their team members.This is meant to encourage students to more thoroughly consider how much each team member has contributed. On the other hand, under Fink’s approach, students are allowed to give an equal score to their peers.


4. The impact of Peer Evaluation on students’ grades


Another interesting difference is the impact that the peer evaluation score can have on students’ overall grades. Under Michaelsen’s approach, the peer evaluation score does not have such a large impact on students’ grade as students are limited to allocate a minimum of 7 points and a maximum of 13 points to their peers. On the other hand, under Fink’s approach, students can have a big impact on their peers’ grades. This is because a small change on the points they decide to allocate to each student can end up having a large impact to their overall grade once this score is summed up and used as a multiplier.


5. Student satisfaction


The final difference is in theon student satisfaction generally achieved after implementing Michaelsen’s versus Fink’s method. Generally, if these methods are conducted without any changes, Fink’s method tends to be perceived as fairer by students given that they are allowed to give an equal score to their peers if they want to.


Conclusion


As you can see there are a few differences between these two methods of conducting peer evaluation.


Let’s recap the differences between Michaelsen’s and Fink’s methods:


Michaelsen’s method


Peer score

It’s an independent component of the course grade

Points

Students receive 10 points per team member

Impact of peer evaluation

The peer score doesn’t affect overall grades so much

Student satisfaction

Students less satisfied as they cannot give the same score to all their peers


Fink’s method


Peer score

It becomes a percent multiplier

Points

Students receive 100 points to allocate between their peers

Impact of peer evaluation

The peer score can affect students’ overall grade considerably

Student satisfaction

Students more satisfied as they can give the same score to all their peers if they want to


We hope this post helps you better understand these methods and assists you in deciding which method might be best for you. You may also be interested in this post about the Pros & Cons of the 4 Peer Evaluation Methods which includes 2 more methods aside from the ones mentioned in this post.


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.