One or more peer assignments can be used across your course(s). Use it as an opportunity to provide learners with feedback and grades - but it also results in a final course grade. While valuable, learners must be following clear criteria alongside a grading rubric - these are set by you.
The following are some core principles to consider for peer assignment on FutureLearn. You should aim to make your peer assignment:
Clear assignment criteria. Providing detailed instructions and rubrics in advance helps learners navigate the assignment, submit high quality work and give a fair, constructive review of others.
Explain the purpose, process and expectation. Learners don’t know how to peer review - assume it’s always their first time. The brief should explain exactly how to make a successful submission. Keep language factual and objective; anything open to interpretation complicates the process.
Where possible, include anonymous examples of work to the brief - even if they have been made by the course team. This helps to guide learners towards expectations.
Allow enough time and make your expectations clear in the peer review brief. We want to encourage an atmosphere of trust - this is a learning process and not a subjective or critical judgement of performance.
You should consider breaking your peer assignment into several lower stakes assignments across more courses. This allows learners to benefit early and often, opening opportunities for improving future submissions based on early feedback.
Find balance - too many peer assignments can be overwhelming and learners need enough time to complete each activity and apply learning in a variety of methods. Too few can increase the pressure to perform in a high-stakes assignment. It’s recommended to have 1-2 peer assignments per course.
Peer assignment is a powerful way for learners to work together. Reviewing submissions gives learners an opportunity to better understand the course topics and learning outcomes. It can increase motivation and help build understanding by learning from each other, as well as making comparisons with learner’s own work.
Space for discussion can also help learners to calibrate their judgements - somewhere to discuss experience openly. Learners will also use the comments to reflect on the assignment or the feedback received. You should encourage social interactions based on the assignment, learners can help each other and find clarity in what might be a challenging part of the course.