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Tuesday, April 24 • 14:50 - 15:15
Project Estafettes: online hands-on learning with peer feedback and peer appraisal

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One of the challenges of courses in which learners have to deal with open-ended questions, i.e., for which there is no single correct answer, is that they are teacher-intensive, since closing the learning cycle requires interpretation and judgement. This issue is typically solved by having learners work in groups and/or work on a single case. However, group work engenders free-rider behavior, and by elaborating only one case, learners receive insufficient practice.

To deal with this, we have developed the online “Project Estafette” method: an assignment is divided into a number of consecutive steps, and learners conduct each step on a different case/topic, building on the prior step conducted by an anonymous predecessor. In each step, a learner has to (i) study the work which has been submitted by the predecessor, (ii) provide constructive feedback and appraise the work, (iii) improve the work, and (iv) extend it by adding their “own” step. Specifically designed rules stimulate quality and fair peer review.

Our generic, flexible ICT platform allows teachers to design estafette templates with step-wise assignments, develop cases, and operate, monitor, and evaluate estafettes. This is applicable to any type of open-ended assignment that can be divided into consecutive steps, ranging from writing an essay to developing a mathematical model.

To date, we have run 12 estafettes with groups of 200+ undergraduate students in a first-year course on systems modeling, and 2 estafettes with groups of 40+ graduate students on policy analysis methods. Compared to graduate students, first-year BSc students tend to take their review task less seriously, dislike the peer appraisal, and some resent having to build on someone else’s work. However, on the whole, learners experience it as intensive training, and recognize the learning effects of repeated application, and reflection on their own work and that of others.


Pieter Bots

Delft University of Technology

Els van Daalen

Delft University of Technology

Tuesday April 24, 2018 14:50 - 15:15 CEST
Classroom 12