Peer Evaluation in a Didactic Team-Based Learning Dental Hygiene Course

Publication ID Published Version
9079 January 19, 2012 8
University of Missouri-Kansas City


Peer evaluation in a Team-Based Learning instructional strategy emphasizes individual and group accountability, allows students to demonstrate and evaluate effective teamwork skills, and provides constructive feedback to their peers. To ensure students have an opportunity to reward peers who contribute most to team assignments and help individuals recognize the need to be individually accountable to their team, peer evaluations are considered essential components of Team-Based Learning (TBL). As part of a TBL introductory didactic dental hygiene course, students were instructed to complete a peer evaluation for each student in their team by assigning an average of ten points to all members of the team excluding themselves. Scores for each student were averaged and included as part of the overall course grade. This resource includes the peer evaluation instrument, a template for calculating scores, and a discussion about lessons learned in the process of implementation.

Team-Based Learning refers to a series of clearly-defined practices that need to be implemented in a specific sequence. These include permanent and purposefully-formed teams, the Readiness Assurance Process, the 4-S team applications (significant problem; same problem; specific choice; simultaneous report), and peer evaluation within the teams. The trademark is used to protect the meaning of the term and helps to distinguish TBL from other approaches that incorporate small group work.

As dental educators incorporate more interactive and group learning methodologies into the curricula, individual accountability must be factored into course grades. Data from the dental hygiene classes of 2009 and 2010 (n=59) were examined to assess the effectiveness of a peer evaluation tool for holding individuals accountable for their contributions to group assignments in a Team Based Learning course. Students were instructed to complete a peer evaluation for each student in their team by assigning an average of ten points to all members of the team excluding themselves. At least one score was to be 11 or higher and one score was 9 or lower with a rationale for the highest and lowest ratings. Scores for each student were averaged. Variability among teams was examined by observing student scores by team. Individual scores of 11 or higher and scores 9 or lower were selected for review of the narrative feedback using the Constant Comparative method to identify common themes.

Variability among individual scores was noted in nine of the ten teams with scores ranging from 12 to 7.4. Two themes emerged from the data as determinants for both high and low scores; Social Interaction and Work Ethic. The peer evaluation method used in this project demonstrated the ability to differentiate between groups where individual students contributed more equally (less variation in averaged scores) and groups where individual students contributed at different levels (greater range of scores within the team). The peer evaluation method described in this study could be a first step to implementing more sophisticated peer assessments.


Keselyak N, Gadbury-Amyot C, Michaelsen L, Simmer-Beck M. Peer Evaluation in a Didactic Team-Based Learning Dental Hygiene Course. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2012. Available from:

Educational Objectives

  1. To demonstrate effective teamwork skills.
  2. To evaluate the teamwork skills of peers.
  3. To work collaboratively to enhance individual and group learning of the course content.
  4. To provide constructive feedback to peers.


  • Peer Evaluation, TBL, Team-Based Learning, Peer Evaluations


  • Dental


  • Interpersonal & Communication Skills
  • Practice-based Learning & Improvement
    • Incorporate feedback
  • Professionalism

Professional Interest

  • Assessment
  • Communication Skills
  • Evaluation of Clinical Performance
  • Oral Health
  • Professionalism
  • Teaching Skills
  • weTeach

Instructional Methods

  • Assessment
  • Team-based Learning (TBL)

Assessment Methods

  • Peer Assessment

Organ Systems

  • Gastrointestinal system

Academic Focus

  • Clinical Sciences
    • Clinical Skills/Doctoring

Intended Audience

  • Professional & Faculty Development
  • Professional School
    • Dental Student


  • Evaluation Tool

Join the Conversation

Share your thoughts with other users. Please sign in to comment on this material.

Material Access

Please sign in to access this material.

Please register for an AAMC account if you do not have one.


  • MedEdPORTAL Home
  • Register
  • My MedEdPORTAL
  • Contact Us

Subscribe to Our Monthly Newsletter

Receive featured content & announcements!

ISSN 2374-8265