In proceedings ASEE Annual Conf., Albuquerque, June 2001.
Peer ratings revisited: focus on teamwork, not ability
Richard A. Layton and Matthew W. Ohland

In a previous study, we determined that student peer ratings used to assign individual grades from group grades showed no effects relating to gender but significant effects relating to race. A likely explanation of this result was that students seem to base ratings on perceived ability instead of real contribution to the group effort. To overcome this tendency, we modified the peer-rating instrument, instructed students on the behavioral characteristics of good teamwork, and focused the student peer ratings on those characteristics. This paper presents an analysis of peer ratings using the modified instrument and compares these results to the results of the previous study. Using the new approach, student peer ratings showed no effects relating to race, suggesting that the new approach has the desired effect. However, contrary to prior studies, a gender bias is observed. In this study, women rate other women much lower than they rate men, although menís and womenís average course grades are not significantly different. We conclude that our efforts to focus student peer ratings on real contributions to the group effort have been only partially successful.

©2001 American Society for Engineering Education.

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Richard A. Layton
Last modified: 01 Jul 02