Peer Evaluation In Team-Based Learning: The Definitive Guide

Updated: Sep 6, 2018



Team-Based Learning is a collaborative learning methodology with a focus on applications of course material. Within a Team-Based Learning course, peer collaboration is a big and important component as the name implies.


Students’ grades and evaluations are based not just on their individual work, but also on the work they’ve done with their team. As with any sort of teamwork, it is important to recognize that some students might be better team players and may have contributed more to the team than others. To be able to recognize those who have contributed more and reward them for it, as well as provide feedback to those who could have been better at teamwork, peer evaluation is a useful component that several TBL educators add to their courses.


However, the numerous peer evaluation methods available to TBL educators are extremely variant. As a result, it can be incredibly difficult to discern which method of peer evaluation to implement even for those experienced with TBL.


To help you make an informed decision about which peer evaluation method best serves your classroom environments, we have constructed this short guide on peer evaluation.


Chapter 1: Benefits Of Peer Evaluation In Team-Based Learning


It’s clear that peer evaluation is an integral part of Team-Based Learning. But, what are the specific benefits of peer evaluation in a Team-Based Learning context?

Find out more about the benefits of peer evaluation with our post on The 5 Benefits of Peer Evaluation In Team-Based Learning.


Chapter 2: Peer Evaluation Methods


There are 4 main peer evaluation methods and we’ve outlined how each of them works.


a) Michaelsen’s method

Michaelsen’s method was created by Larry Michaelsen, a professor at the University of Oklahoma who was the first person to evangelize Team-Based Learning.

For more on Michaelsen’s method see our post on Peer Evaluation: Michaelsen’s Method.


b) Fink’s method

Fink’s method was created by L. Dee Fink, from the University of Oklahoma. Together with Michaelsen, he wrote the first book about Team-Based Learning .

For more on Fink’s method refer to this post: Peer Evaluation: Fink’s method.


For detailed information on the differences between Michaelsen’s and Fink’s methods visit: Peer Evaluation: Fink’s Method vs Michelsen’s Method.


c) Koles method

Koles’ method was created by Paul Koles from the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University. This is a more quantitatively and qualitatively thorough method than the ones previously mentioned.

For more on Koles’ method refer to this post: Peer Evaluation: Koles’ and Texas Tech’s methods.


d) Texas Tech’s method

Texas Tech’s method was created by Kitty McMahon from the Texas Tech School Of Medicine. This approach to peer evaluation is very similar to Koles’ method but it can be more useful in competitive environments.

For more on Texas Tech’s methods refer to this post: Peer Evaluation: Koles’ and Texas Tech’s methods.


Chapter 3: Pros & Cons Of The Peer Evaluation Methods


Once you become familiar with the various peer evaluation methods the question then is - how to choose the one that best suits your particular context?

Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the different methods with our post on the Pros & Cons Of The 4 Peer Evaluation Methods.


Chapter 4: Best Practices For Peer Evaluation


Once you know which method to use, it’s helpful to understand what are the best practices for implementing peer evaluation in Team.Based Learning. Read the following post to get familiar with the 5 Best Practices For A Successful Peer Evaluation.


Chapter 5: Solutions For Common Peer Evaluation Issues


Experiencing trouble when conducting peer evaluation or just interested in anticipating common issues?


Learn how to solve common issues that arise during peer evaluation with our post on the Common Peer Evaluation Challenges and Solutions.