Monday, April 4, 2016

Peer Evaluations with TEAMMATES

Every now and again you want students to be able to take part in evaluating the work they have done in class.  Say you have a small group presentation, and you'd like the whole group to submit how much they felt they participated in the experience, and how others contributed.  Perhaps all students have to write a paper, and you'd like to have several students evaluate the paper, rather than have only the sole instructor's perspective.

This is not accomplished very easily in BlackBoard; it's Peer Evaluation tool is rudimentary and extremely limiting to just a simple text box, with provision on how to share what is typed in.

Problems like these are what led a team of teachers and students, for teachers and students to develop TEAMMATES, powered by Google.  With this tool, you are able to set up a class, enroll your students, and set up questions with a myriad of purposes, with the results easily shared with the level of anonymity you require.

The first step is to request an Instructor account, which is free.  You'll want to give your University email here, but you'll need to associate it with a Google account before too long.  Students will have the opportunity to do so as well, but they will not be required to 'join' as a Google user.

After you log in as an instructor, you'll be able to create your course, and add/invite any additional instructors.  Using a sample spreadsheet file, you can then enter in your students, having the opportunity to put them in sections and/or teams.

enrolling students
Enrolling students
You're now ready to create your feedback session.  Give it a title, instructions, and a set of dates for when the session will be available, and you can start adding questions. There are many question types to choose from, most of which will be very familiar.

There are a few question types of note:
  1. Distribute points allows one to distribute points between either entered choices, or a list of participants, generated by whatever group you are evaluating.
  2. Team contribution allows you to estimate your personal contribution to your team, as well as how much others participated, based on an equal share, plus or minus a percentage.
  3. Rubrics allow you to judge how well or badly a participant did based on examples. 
You can ask many of these questions different ways; the student can answer the questions about themselves, about their team, and about the class overall.  This information can then be shared, or not, with the recipients, and anonymous or not.

Instructors can also answer questions about other instructors, and add comments to the students responses, which can also be shared or not.

While you can download a spreadsheet of the results, the system offers some graphical options, as well as how the data is presented.
Results display options

Finally, when the results are ready to be shared with the students, you can publish them to an accessible link.

TEAMMATES has been used by members of the Health Information Management team, and I can recommend it if you want a streamlined way of getting peer feedback done.  Want to try it out? Go to and request your instructor account now, or watch their introductory video. TEAMMATES does not integrate with BlackBoard, and is not an officially supported system, but if you need help, please contact TLT at 8-7107 or  If there is enough demand, we can add this system to our overall services.

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