LEO Guides

Workshop

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The LEO Workshop tool functions as a peer-assessment and/or peer-review activity. Depending on the settings you select for this activity, students are able to upload a digital file and/or type text directly into a field using the text editor. Students are then able to receive and provide feedback and/or assessment on each others' submissions.

Students are able to receive two separate grades for a Workshop activity: a grade for their own submission given to them by their peers, as well as a grade for their assessment of their peers' submissions. Students mark their peers submissions using an assessment criteria which is determined by the teaching staff of the unit. The teaching staff have the ability to review the peer-assigned grades, and edit these if necessary. Alternatively, you can make the Workshop activity a non-graded task, allowing your students to leave feedback in the form of 'comments' on each others submissions. The peer-review phase of the Workshop activity can be made anonymous.

The Workshop activity has a workflow made up of five steps or 'phases'. Each phase of the Workshop activity represents a different stage of the Workshop activity process. The phases are:

  1. Setup - For teaching staff to set up the parameters of the activity
  2. Submission - For students to upload and/or enter their submission into the text field
  3. Assessment - For students to provide assessment and/or feedback on each others' submissions
  4. Grading evaluation phase - This is when the evaluation grades are calculated, and the feedback/assessment is provided to students
  5. Closed - When the Workshop activity is in the 'Closed' phase, all of the grades the student has received for the activity (if enabled) will be pushed to the Gradebook.

a screenshot of the phase planner tool in the Workshop activity

You are able to progress the Workshop through each of its phases by clicking on the lightbulb icon in the Workshop Planning Tool.

The Workshop in LEO facilitates peer-assessment and/or peer-review, which in turn enables higher-level metacognitive processing. The Workshop tool within LEO actively engages students in the their own learning, and has the capacity to foster collaboration between peers. The Workshop tool also enables students to give each other feedback on a task or submission.

The Workshop activity facilitates peer-assessment within the LEO platform. You are able to set up a Workshop activity for the purposes of either summative or formative assessment, and allow your students to upload a digital file and/or enter text into a field. The students will receive two grades as a result of completing a Workshop activity: one grade is based on their peer's evaluation and assessment of their work, the other is based on how close the student came to the 'average' in terms of their grading of their peers' submission.

Assignments submitted to the Workshop activity are assessed using a form which clearly defines the criteria against which the submissions are to be marked. You are able to upload a sample submission in order to allow your students to 'practice' the Workshop activity assessment process. Students will be able to compare their review of the submission against the example submission.

All grades given within a peer-assessment activity are able to be overwritten by teaching staff.

The key feature of the Workshop activity is its ability to collect the assignment submissions of your students, and distribute these randomly in order to facilitate peer-review. The Workshop activity will generate two grades based on the peer-assessment activity, these grades can be aggregated. Alternatively, you can set up your Workshop activity so that students are able to comment on each other's submissions, but no grade is given or recorded.

The Workshop activity allows you to collect the assignment submissions of your students, and distribute those randomly in order to facilitate peer-assessment. The main benefit of using the Workshop activity in LEO is that this process is automated, and the peer-assessment element can be anonymised. The peer-assessment process can be graded, or you can set up the activity so that student's are only able to give written feedback in the form of 'comments'.

You are not limited in the kinds of files you can ask your students to submit for the purposes of peer-assessment within a Workshop activity. While the most commonly used format is Word document or PDF, you can also ask your students to submit:

  • an Excel spreadsheet
  • an image such as a photograph or infographic
  • a video or sound file
  • a PowerPoint presentation
  • a link to an externally hosted file or webpage

You can also allow your students to upload multiple files within the one submission. These files can be of different types or formats.

Using multimedia and peer assessment to promote collaborative e-learning

The main objective of the Comunica-Media project of the Technical University of Madrid, was to "design a new didactical model to foster collaborative learnig based on multimedia resources and multimedia production by the teacher and students" (2014, 106). This objective was based on "three pillars" which were:

Collaborative learning - interactions, communications, and finally collabroation between teacher-student and among students.

Teachers' and students' abilities to produce multimedia content - not only the teacher creates multimedia resources, students should be able to do so.

Peer assessment of the multimedia resources created - students will learn from the resources created by their classmates as well as assessing them. The final grades should be considered in this assessment.

(2014, 106)

The didactical model which emerged from this research project was made up of five activities which required students to assess the multimedia work of their teachers, create their own multimedia content, and assess the multimedia content of their peers. The didactical model was applied to the 15 week long, fully-online course 'International Seminars on Materials Science' which was offered by the Department of Materials Science. The model was made up of five activities which required students to assess the multimedia work of their teachers, create their own multimedia content, and assess the multimedia content of their peers. The research covers two instances of the course, and a total of 57 students from a diversity of backgrounds who completed the course. It should be noted that all students had no previous experience in the field of Materials Science or in the creaion of multimedia resources (2014, 111).

A number of Moodle activities were used for this didactical model, including the Forum and the Workshop activity. For this activity, each student was radomly assigned a number of resources from their peers to evaluate and review. Moodle also assigned a mark to each student's evaluation. The nearer the reviewer's mark was to the average evaluation mark given by other reviewes, the higher the mark they received. In this instance, the student's were required to evaluate 12 of their peer's multimedia resources against a predefined rubric. The rubric included content organisation, communication skills, presentation design, creativity, and other criteria. Data obtained from the Moodle platform confirms that students reviewed the multimedia resources created by their peers. Survey data suggests that the students who created screencasts (as opposed to a presentation) showed more interest in the course, and obtained higher grades in reviewing their classmates' resources.

While the researchers note their lack of a control group as a limitation of the study, they note that the "introduction of student' production of the multimedia resources together with its peer assessment encourages them to actively participate in the collaborative learning process" (2014, 119).

Enrique Barra, Sandra Aguirre Herrera, Jose Ygnacio Pastor Caño & Juan Quemada Vives (2014) Using multimedia and peer assessment to promote collaborative e-learning, New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, 20:2, 103-121, DOI:10.1080/13614568.2013.857728, available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13614568.2013.857728#.V5lWBEYposI

Using Workshop as part of a 3rd year Bachelor of Nursing course at the University of Glasgow

The Workshop activity was used as a formative assessment task for around 50, 3rd year undergraduate students in their final year of the Bachelor on Nursing at the University of Glasgow. Students were required to submit a 1000 word assignment. Permission was gained from a previous student to provide the cohort with an exemplar assignment, which was made available in Moodle (LEO).

Each student was required to submit one piece of work for assessment, and was randomly assigned another student's submission to grade (this functionality is available in the Workshop activity).

Some failings of this pilot use of the Workshop tool included confusion around weightings assigned to the peer-assessment element of the task, confusion around how to upload a file to Moodle for the purposes of peer-assessment, and non-submission. The latter two in particular were problematic in that some students were disadvantaged in terms of either not receiving feedback, or not being able to provide feedback, because of non-participation from the student they were matched with.

17 students contributed to a SurveyMonkey survey regarding their feelings towards the use of the Workshop activity for the purposes of peer-assessment.

Approximately half of the respondents (53%) considered they had a better understanding of the assessment criteria as a result of this activity, with (47%) disagreeing with this statement to some degree. The researchers found out that this cohort had all been a part of a Facebook group, and had previously agreed to all award each other an 'A' irrespective of performance, as they felt resentful about having to take part in this exercise. However 82% of students stated they had been honest and objective with the grade they awarded.

The authors conclude that despite the noted weaknesses of the Workshop process, their are benefits for students in participating in peer-assessment. They noted that about half of the students who participated in the Workshop activity felt more confident in their academic abilities.

Brown, C., Honeychurch, S., and Munro, J. (2011) Workshop in Moodle: a tool for peer critiquing. In: 2011 International Computer Assisted Assessment (CAA) Conference Research into E-Assessment, Southampton, UK, 5-6 Jul 2011, available at: http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/55384/1/55384.pdf

Exploring online peer-assessment using the Workshop activity

Brown, C., Honeychurch, S., and Munro, J. (2011) Workshop in Moodle: a tool for peer critiquing. In: 2011 International Computer Assisted Assessment (CAA) Conference Research into E-Assessment, Southampton, UK, 5-6 Jul 2011, available at: http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/55384/1/55384.pdf

Enrique Barra, Sandra Aguirre Herrera, Jose Ygnacio Pastor Caño & Juan Quemada Vives (2014) Using multimedia and peer assessment to promote collaborative e-learning, New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, 20:2, 103-121, DOI:10.1080/13614568.2013.857728, available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13614568.2013.857728#.V5lWBEYposI