April 10, 2009

Create Your Own Evaluation

This next system might not really stand on its own and might work better as an addition to one of the other systems. Write your own evaluation for your teammates to fill out. Having students define a portion or all of their evaluation would give them specific feedback on what they want to improve. This would have numerous benefits for students, the most obvious being feedback that interests them. Often times, feedback coming from evals is relevant, but does not mean anything to students. For example, a student improving their client interaction is positive, but it may not be important to the students improvement. If I am trying to improve my front-end coding skills and I learn that I am interacting with the client well - that is good. But I don't care. Requesting to be evaluated on something is a new topic for everyone in design studio - there are few times when one requests topics on which to be evaluated. Creating your own evaluation is much like focusing on goals, but this takes it a step forward (because it is not required to evaluate teammates on their goals). Having students choose a required evaluation category. Here are a few of the high level pros and cons of user created evaluations: Pros:
  • Students request information on (and improve in) their highest priority categories. This means that if a student want to improve their testing, they will be guaranteed feedback on testing.
  • Students have more involvement in the evaluation process because they are getting specific information in return for completing evaluations.
  • Make evaluations (even more so) directed at a specific student.
  • Removes a portion of the team bias involved in evaluations.
  • Student might pick generic categories and not use the information to their highest potential.
  • Adds another difficulty to quantifying design studio.
  • Reduces the spectrum of opinions of teammates with limited evaluation categories.
User created evaluations would need to be part of a new (or the existing) system. They do not necessarily have to be constrained to a category type, but would be preferred so that they are as much like the traditional evaluation system. Below are some example questions/categories:
  • Lateness
  • Am I working well as the driver of an XP pair?
  • Am I properly handling the clients expectations?
  • Writing Effectiveness
  • Am I disruptive at work?
  • Do you love me? Do you want to be my friend? (joke)
Some of these questions may seem insecure, but they can help students get better. Please post comments about student defined evaluations. Also, if you could be evaluated on one thing, what would it be?

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