Software Engineering 1

Peer Evaluations

Overview and Purpose

At the same time as each team project deliverable is due, each individual team member is required to submit a peer evaluation of all members of the team, using the provided template (.html) .doc) .

Every business does some form of internal evaluation of personnel. It always includes supervisor input, but often includes self-evaluation, and sometimes peer evaluation. (For example FSU professors are evaluated by their department chair, themselves, an elected committee of other professors, and the students they teach.) Sometimes the evaluation system is not very precisely defined. Sometimes it is entirely subjective. There is always a strong subjective component, and some random component. An employee may be able to work within an organization to improve the evaluation system (unions do that), but it is not normally negotiable by individual employees or teams.

In this course, the peer component of the evaluation of each team and each student's individual performance on the team projects is done via an evaluation form that is completed periodically by every team member.

Along with every project deliverable each team member submits to the instructor (through the Blackboard drop box) his/her own copy of the peer evaluation form, fully completed. Every team member submits her or his own individual evaluation of everyone on the team. The evaluations you turn in are confidential between the instructor and you. Each failure to complete the evaluation once results in a loss of points to the individual's project grade. The team will receive a grade, and then each individual will receive a grade for your deliverables. The individual grade for a particular deliverable may be higher or lower than the team grade depending on the evaluation.

Note: The paragraph above is intentionally vague about how the peer and self evaluations are used to determine individual grades. You are unlikely to get any more detailed information from your employer if you are a professional software developer. However, for your peace of mind, a scoring rubric is provided below.

The team evaluation is done in three categories: a letter grade for the team, ranking of the team members, and allocations of the total effort among the team members. These are explained in more detail further below.

If you require further explanation, you may ask the instructor, or (better) discuss the evaluation system within the team. While there should be no collaboration on the actual evaluations, it is for the team to agree on how the members interpret the instructions on the evaluation form, and generally what they expect of one another.

There is no way anyone can avoid some degree of fuzziness in evaluating the performance of people on a project. Also remember that you are not evaluating a person in any overall or absolute sense (only God can do that). You are just evaluating the team and individuals' performances on a specific task for a specific interval of time.

NOTE: The purpose of this peer evaluation form is to provide information on how your group is working together, and how each person is doing within the group. If what you turn in does not indicate any thought or conveys no useful information you will lose points (see "No Pro Forma Treatments" below. In particular, if you give your group an "A", give everyone in the group an "A", allocate each person the group average, and provide no explanatory comments, it will be treated as if you had turned nothing in.


Grading Criteria

Grades on a deliverable may be withheld for all members of a team until all have submitted their peer evaluations for the period.

  1. Timeliness

    Peer evaluations are due at the same time as the corresponding deliverable(s). Deliverable lateness causes points lost off the deliverables grade. Peer evaluation lateness causes points lost off your individual grade.

    1. 1 day late 5 points off
    2. 2 days late 10 points
    3. 3 days late 15 points
    4. After 3 days late a zero grade is recorded for your individual grade on the deliverable.
  2. No pro forma treatments: If your evaluation has information in all the spaces, but it conveys no useful insight about the team functioning you will lose up to 100% of the credit.

  3. Correctness : Each instance of the following may result in 5 to 10 points off your deliverable grade:

    1. Missing allocations for members
    2. Missing comments for members
    3. Giving yourself more of the team average allocation
    4. Allocations not adding up to 100%
    5. Missing overall team grade
    6. Missing individual grades for members
    7. Missing rankings for members
  4. Format : 5 points off your deliverable grade for each of the following:

    1. Handing in instructions with evaluation.
    2. Changing format or wording of evaluation from that of the template.
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