TEAMMATES peer feedback system – review

November 13, 2015 at 2:52 pm | Posted in systems | 2 Comments
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Diagram showing TEAMMATES features

TEAMMATES (https://teammatesv4.appspot.com) is a free online system that facilitates anonymous peer feedback between students working in groups. It has been developed since 2010 by academics and students at the School of Computing and the Centre for the Development of Learning and Teaching at the National University of Singapore, and their intention is to keep it as a free service. My view is that it is a well-designed, mature system that offers an excellent user interface and experience. It runs on the Google App engine which provides strong stability and scalability, enabling it to cope with large cohorts and groups.

Tutors do need to have a Google account to use TEAMMATES, but students do not need one and can submit responses and view their feedback without ever needing to login or sign up. However, if they do login to TEAMMATES using their Google account, they can access all their TEAMMATES courses and feedback in one page and create a user profile.

Here is an overview of the process:

  1. Tutor logs in to TEAMMATES, creates a course and enrols the students/teams by simply copying the data from a spreadsheet (team, name, email, comments).
  2. Tutor creates a session and adds the questions they wish to ask. It is easy to copy and then edit an existing session.
  3. When the session opens (at a scheduled time) the students are emailed a unique link that they use to access their feedback form.
  4. The tutor can view the responses submitted at any time.
  5. Students are sent a reminder email 24 hours before the session closes (at its scheduled time). Extra reminders can be sent manually if required.
  6. After the session closes the tutor can review the results and then click publish to email the students with a unique link to view their individual feedback.
  7. The tutor can download the session results as a spreadsheet file. The results could be used to adjust individual student grades for group projects depending on their peers’ assessment of their contribution.

A real strength of TEAMMATES is the range of question types available and the flexibility of the feedback paths and visibility that can be easily assigned to them. For example, the question below asks students to provide feedback to the other members of their team about their ‘contribution to team meetings’ by choosing an option. The visibility has been set so that the feedback is anonymous, and only visible to the recipient (of the feedback).

TEAMMATES question creation 1

However, note that many other visibility options are available, so if the question asked for comments about ‘strengths that the student brought to the team’ then that feedback could be shared with the rest of their team and the givers identified. This opens up many interesting possibilities for generating constructive formative feedback for developing effective teams and team skills.

The rubric question format makes it easy for students to provide feedback on a range of issues using a compact format. The rubric can also be shared at the start of the project so that the students have clear guidance on the behaviours that are needed to get good marks.

TEAMMATES question creation 2

The overall ease of use of the system is also a major plus, as it encourages multiple formative feedback activities during a group project/assignment. For example, near the start of the project a simple session (form) could provide team members with early feedback on whether their performance requires improvement. Later on, another session could be used to help the team keep on track, then a final session could be used to assess effort, contribution and teamwork and summatively use the scores to individualise grades.

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2 Comments »

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  1. […] Warren, Adam (2015) TEAMMATES peer feedback system – review https://telic.wordpress.com/2015/11/13/teammates-peer-feedback-system-review/ […]

  2. […] recounted how students reported a peer’s lack of engagement and effort in the group project using TEAMMATES. Although the feedback was anonymous, it was clear to facilitators that the students concerned had […]


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