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We're turning off peer evaluations for programming projects


Across our programming courses, there are 14 peer-evaluated projects, with 7 of those projects in our popular Intro to JS course. Those projects aren't marked as complete until a learner both completes a self-evaluation and receives a passing peer evaluation. We will be turning off peer evaluation for those projects in December 2020, so that all projects will be considered complete after self-evaluation.


Why are we making this change?

There are a few reasons we’re doing this. On the Khan Academy engineering team, we are currently making a massive change to our codebase to move to a new language (Go) and a new service-based architecture. We've determined that it will be exceedingly difficult and time-consuming to move the peer evaluation infrastructure to Go while there are still projects being evaluated.

In addition, we have found it difficult to keep the peer evaluation system running smoothly. Some evaluations can be very negative (affecting a learner's confidence at a crucial point in their learning journey), the backlog for evaluations is often many weeks long, evaluations vary in their accuracy, and the evaluation system isn't designed well for our increasing number of classroom users.

If we had enough engineering resources, we could come up with a number of improvements to address the shortcomings of the peer evaluation system. Unfortunately, we are a small team with a limited budget, and we do not have the resources to make improvements to the system.

What if I already requested a peer evaluation?

If you have requested a peer evaluation on a project and have not received a response yet, your project may either be evaluated by the community or it may be automatically passed. If it is automatically passed, you will see that noted in the evaluation comments.

How can I still have peers give feedback on my project?

We encourage you to use our help request feature. Just look for the "Request help" button or "Help requests" tab under your project. Then you can write a message to the community like:

"I believe I have completed this project. Can someone review my work? Thank you!"

Many community members are familiar with the project rubrics and should be able to provide you with feedback.

I'm a coach, how can I review my student's projects?

We encourage you to keep providing feedback to your students about their work, so that your learners can continue iterating on their project and learning. We have put the project rubrics in a document so that you can make a copy and fill it in yourself. You can share it with your student over email.

We want to end this note with a huge thank you to our community for all your project evaluations over the years and a special thank you to Inger Hohler for running DGPE, a volunteer project to train future evaluators. Thank you for helping your fellow learners on their programming path!