The September IT month session on WebPA on the 12th of September had a look at this peer assessment / review tool, and how it is integrated into Blackboard here at Swansea.
Our association with the tool started several Years ago with Professor Dave Clark in the College of Science who was looking for an easier method of running the peer assessment he ran with a piece of group work on one of his modules. His External Examiner at the time was Dr Peter Wilmott from Loughborough who just happened to be the academic who had commissioned WebPA to be written by the IT development team at Loughborough. We’ve been using it ever since.
It is a great way to overcome some of the perception students can have about group work being unfair. Students can rate themselves and their peers over a range of criteria defined by their lecturer and a weighting factor for each student is generated that can then be applied to any group work mark. It also tends to improve engagement with the group project as suddenly students will be held instantly accountable for their effort.
Now that is has been fully integrated into Blackboard, the whole process has been made much easier to set up and administer. All of your Blackboard students and groups are simple to import into the WebPA system and they get the ease of access that the integration allows.
Student comments on the system have been very positive and we continue to spread its use to new areas of the University every year.[:]