Assessment is something I am actively working at getting better at. Assessment that is meaningful, and in my opinion, not focused on a numerical grade. In this session the presenters disused key questions:

For me the biggest ones are “What is the impact of immediate feedback?” as well as “How can I make assessment more meaningful?” Workload and timeliness of feedbak are key considerations. In this case the key thing was how to we get students to look at their work and the work of others

Two things to pay attention to:

  1. A strong focus on authenticity (linking to real life).
  2. Accountability and feedback as a core value to take from the program.

It is important to consider using both synchronous and asynchronous content to support students. Students need to do activities prepared to engage in problem-solving activities. In a typical online class an activity may take two to three weeks. Group assignments is where most of the learning happens. Team based learning is the framework they use to inform the design of group assignments. Smaller groups are important to the success of the groups. Marks on group assignments are linked to peer evaluations in this model. Grade distribution is an important consideration.

API Fancy Math

They built a custom API tool to help facilitate group marks and peer evaluations. Group assignments are graded by the instructor but do not go to the gradebook. Peers give feedback on preparation, contribution, and collaboration. Students need to substantiate the quantitative ratings. The API tool then does some fancy math to adjust the grade according to peer feedback. In any given team someone gets the highest score. The idea is that it teaches accountability to ones won learning as well as the team.

Student Feedback

A class summary report goes to the instructor with all the numerical and qualitative data. Students get an anonymous compilation of the qualitative feedback without the numerical grades. Instructors review the work and approves if before marks go to students.

A Licensed Application

The custom API tool is can be used in combination with InteDashboard to promote team-based learning. Both are salable. InteDashboard can be used in-class or asynchronously. It looks similar to other products I have looked at like PeerScholar and Feedback Friuts. There is a learning curve to using any of these technologies.

My Questions

My question is how do we go about choosing one of these platforms. I think something like this can be useful in our context to improve efficiency, timeliness of feedback, and workload. Team-based learning is an excellent approach to use. I just need a tool to help me manage it in large classes. Something like this would be extremely useful for our Institution, Programs, and Individual instructors. How do we make something like this available? I smell a necessary pilot project.


Laura Killam is an experienced nursing educator from Northern Ontario with a keen interest in improving student learning through innovation. For more information please visit


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