How Peergrade Is Promoting Online Peer Assessments

If you’ve ever dabbled in the educational realm, you’ll know that there are several challenges to scaling a classroom to accommodate more students. One of the biggest ones? The sheer length of time you have to spend reviewing papers. It can be daunting and draining to revisit each term paper, every exam paper, every assignment as a full-time teacher. It can consume your after-school hours and leave you swallowed by an unending time-snatching vortex. It was this very challenge that led to the creation of a novel platform that changed the dynamics of assignment reviews. Peergrade, founded by David Kofoed Wind in Denmark, was established to let students review their peers, essentially allowing a healthy circulation of feedback and in turn, curtailing a teacher’s workload.

Promoting Online Peer Assessments

Interestingly, in addition to its core communication features, Peergrade has also recently introduced a live sessions option, allowing teachers to conduct live sessions with students at any point in the assignment rollout process. The Peergrade model is one worth emulating, especially if you plan to tailor it to specific subjects when implementing your eLearning marketplace. A model centered exclusively on analytical subjects, for instance, could be fitted with an inbuilt fault-detection technology.

Building a model from scratch is easier than you think. Consider buying two separate turnkey frameworks for your platform: one for your core offering and one for your live streaming sessions. While you’ll find hundreds of options for the former, there are few frameworks that stand out for live streaming. Pinlearn is a great option; it comes at a reasonable price and is armed with all the features you’d find in world-class live streaming platforms on the web.

Now, let’s take a peek at the Peergrade case study and get an idea of how to create an online course.

What Is Peergrade?

Peergrade is a platform that opens the assignment evaluation process to students. As a result, peers have the opportunity to assess each other, provide feedback and learn in the process. Although Peergrade does offer tailor-made grading modules for schools, it primarily caters to university-level students. So, how exactly does it work? For starters, a teacher must create an assignment and set grading criteria. Then, students are asked to upload their coursework to Peergrade. This could either be a text template or a video uploaded to YouTube. Peergrade then allots assignments across students. Typically, each student receives 3 assignments for evaluation. But hey, what about the inevitable element of peer bias? There’s bound to be unfair evaluation in the process, right? Peergrade already has that covered. The platform employs superior statistical algorithms to weed out discrepancies and determine whether an assigned grade is fair. Peergrade is equipped with data-driven analytics, feedback learning tools, fully customisable settings, fairness-determining algorithms and support and integration features in this elearning marketplace.


Let’s Take an Example

There’s nothing like taking a good example to fully understand how Peergrade works. To begin with, let’s assume that you’re a teacher managing a university class of 130 students. Let’s say you teach English. If you roll out about 2 assignments a month, that’s 260 assignments to be evaluated and graded, all in your own time. This can be time-consuming and certainly not something you’d look forward to at the end of a long day. Here’s where Peergrade can help. By having your students upload their assignments on the platform within a closed group, Peergrade will automatically allot assignments across the board, with each student receiving about 3 to review. Once your feedback has been collated and organised by Peergrade, you will be allowed an overview of your students’ work on this online learning management system. The platform is extremely customisable, letting you be in the driver’s seat at all times. This means you can control which students are allowed to review, how credit is divided for group assignments and whether any additional layers of feedback need to be added.

What Technology Powers Peergrade?

Peergrade is supported by an nginx web server and a double-barreled hosting protocol composed of Dedicated Hosting and Digital Ocean. Heroku Proxy makes up its framework while its analytics and tracking are powered by a host of technologies including Mixpanel, Hotjar, New Relic, Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Pmetrics and Clicky. Its content delivery network is propelled by GStatic. Peergrade’s technology stack is vast but its performance can be matched with more reasonably priced technologies. If you’re looking to set up something similar, possibly for a different market, consider purchasing a turnkey technology that can give you a similar interface. As for the live streaming feature, Pinlearn will plug right into your pivotal platform for this elearning marketplace.

What Is Peergrade’s Monetisation Model?

Peergrade works on a freemium model, offering a basic plan open to all and 2 payable plans that each offer differential slices of additional features. The first payable plan is priced at $9.99 per month and comes with features like extended upload space, extended timelines and advanced data exports, amongst others. The second plan, targeted at entire institutions is priced on-demand and hinges on various factors.

How Can I Build My Own Peergrade?

Building your own Peergrade can be a straightforward process if you plan well. Your technology is key, so it’s best that you pick turnkey frameworks from well-established brands before taking the plunge. There are a plethora of options when it comes to setting up your core website. Pick a developer that is aligned with your goals and who can turn a turnkey technology around for you swiftly. Peergrade allows students to submit assignments in video or text form, the former being accepted as YouTube videos. However, in your case, if you choose an inclusive framework that enables archived and recorded videos, you can host your assignment submission entirely on your own platform. Pinlearn is worth considering here. The framework accommodates both recorded and live videos, so whether it’s accepting assignments as videos or initiating a live stream, you’re taken care of.

Peergrade solves a tremendous problem for institutions looking for the right help on how to create an online course, proving that there is merit in the peer-to-peer online grading realm.

Just goes to show the power of technology. Go ahead; make magic with your idea today!

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