Now that your synthesis essay is complete, it is time for buddy checks! In this module you will provide two of your peers with a round of feedback to help ensure that they are ready for the upcoming Exhibitions. We also ask you to prepare for your own Exhibition by reviewing the feedback that you will receive from your two buddies.

In the Module 10 video, you’ll get to see some 1940s Superman cartoons while listening to Spencer explain the importance of the buddy check assignment.

If you have not yet completed your Tech Check, please complete it by the end of this module.

Activities in this module are due by July 31st (at or before 11:59pm Eastern Time). We encourage you to begin early in the week – it is not possible to complete the entire module at the last minute.


Why peer-to-peer buddy checks?

While you have had an opportunities to provide feedback in Piazza and your instructors have provided you with mid-semester feedback, we think it very valuable to have another round of detailed peer feedback before our Exhibitions. [Read more about it here]

Can I do my buddy check in an alternative format?

Feel free to format your buddy check in any way that makes sense to you. We have had students use email, Word, Pages, or Google Docs to write bulleted lists, paragraphs, or charts. We invite you to use the rubrics as a guide, as well. You could also consider meeting with your buddies in the Coffeehouse to go over your portfolios synchronously.

How to receive feedback?

Equally important to giving good feedback is learning how to receive good feedback. [Read more about it here]

What are some exemplary Buddy Checks?

We try not to get too formulaic when it comes to a buddy check, even within the expectations that we list, and we’ve seen a lot of different strategies and formats that have worked for students in the past. If you’re looking for some advice, here are some examples that we think have worked pretty well:

🔗Mission 1

image of binoculars to signify the overview

Overview – Your buddy check

In this assignment, we task you with providing two peers with detailed feedback on their portfolios. In doing this, you will also receive feedback from two of your peers, about your own portfolio. This mission is particularly important to complete before the end of the module, as your buddies will likely want a chance to see the feedback before their exhibitions.

Prepare your own portfolio

You’ll spend most of this week looking at someone else’s portfolio, but you should spend at least a little bit of time reviewing yours before your buddies do. Most importantly, please make sure that everything on your portfolio is accessible! Does the link in your Gravatar go to your current portfolio? If there are any password-protected pages, have you shared the passwords with your buddies? It will also be helpful to make as many improvements as you can to previous assignments before your buddies begin—that way you get feedback on your latest and greatest efforts!

Identify your buddies

For the buddy check mission, you will give detailed feedback to two classmates. Who you give feedback to is based upon the exhibition signup form.

Once an exhibition is full (you might have to wait), your exhibition will have four group members (in some circumstances only three spots are allowed). For example,

  1. Matthew Koehler, mkoehler@msu.edu, http://matt-koehler.com
  2. Sarah Keenan, keenans1@msu.edu, http://www.sarahfkeenan.com/
  3. Brittany Dillman, dillmanb@msu.edu, http://brittanydillman.weebly.com/
  4. Spencer Greenhalgh, greenha6@msu.edu, http://www.spencergreenhalgh.com/

Buddy_Check_CircleThink of the slots as a circle (see image), and you give buddy checks to your neighbors.

For example, slot 2 (Sarah) will give feedback to the students in slots 1 (Matthew) and 3 (Brittany).

Review the portfolio

We ask that you spend 30 minutes (or more, if you wish) perusing your buddy’s portfolio (and then repeat for the second buddy!). While we don’t want to limit what you consider, we would recommend you look for aspects such as:

  • things that are done particularly well
  • unique, creative, and personal components that stand out
  • writing mechanical issues: spelling, grammar, wording
  • formatting issues: alignment, overlapping, consistency of font

Write your feedback

Given all of the items you might comment on, we expect these postings to be rather long, informative, substantive, specific, and constructive. We do not want to put a specific length, but it is difficult to imagine doing a good buddy check in less than 749 words. In the past, most students have had much to say, so, in general, we have been impressed with the thoughtfulness, attention to detail, and sophisticated “taste” and web design skill evident in the feedback. We know that some of you will review a portfolio that is superbly done. In this case, we invite you to use your 749 words to talk about what works and what is done well in that portfolio.

Share the feedback with your buddy and instructors

  • Email your buddy with an attachment or a link to your feedback. You can get email addresses from our roster page, the exhibition signup page, or their portfolio (which hopefully has a “contact me” option).
  • Make sure to include “capstone_instructors@matt-koehler.com” in the email or sharing invitation.
  • Note: Our email filters may catch your email if it is very large. If this happens you will receive an email letting you know that your email is waiting “moderator approval.” Not to worry! We will approve your email as soon as we can.

Consider the standards of excellence for this module

While we do not have any specific standards of excellence for this assignment, consider the quality and quantity of feedback that you would like and then provide that for your buddies. Please also consider basing your feedback on our grading rubric, which will serve as the basis for our end of the semester assessment of portfolios.

🔗Mission 2

For this module, email your buddies and instructors with your feedback.

Posting your Powerups in Piazza

If you have completed a new Powerup then post about it in Piazza by doing the following:

  • Go to your house in Piazza
  • If this is your first Powerup, find the post called “Powerup #1!”, if this is your second Powerup find “Powerup #2!”, and if this is your third (or fourth, or fifth…) find “Powerup #3!”.
  • Post a reply to the post with the following
    • The Web address of your Powerup.
    • A paragraph explaining why you chose to complete this particular Powerup.
    • If this is your second or third Powerup, please include how you see it relating to previous Powerups and the overall shape and development of your portfolio.
    • Anything you’d like your housemates to pay particular attention to.

Just as for our regular weekly postings, give feedback to two others. Give preference to those who have little or no feedback yet (of course, this is all subject to the Bonuses and Bummers Policy).


Grading rubric for this module

Each Mission in this course is important for developing your abilities to design and implement your portfolio. Recall that there are 100 total points assigned in this course; the specific Mission(s) in this module will count towards your grade as follows:

  • (3 points) – Buddy Check – provide 749+ words of high quality feedback to 2 peers and include (cc/share) the instructors on the feedback.
  • (2 points) – Tech Check – Carry out your Tech Check before the end of Module 10. To learn more, see our Tech Check information.

Advice and help about course grades

  • Learn how to check grades in the course by reading this helpful guide.
  • Check grades early and often! This will help you understand your progress in the course and will help us correct any errors as soon as possible.
  • Pay attention to how each module is graded. We provide details about the grading rubric for each module.
  • Understand the late work policy. If you know you’re going to be late, contact us ahead of time and ask for a (reasonable) extension. Otherwise, work is accepted up to 48 hours late with 1/2 credit. The full policy is detailed in the syllabus.
  • The full grading policy is detailed in the syllabus.


Recommended Powerups

Because this module is an opportunity to provide and receive feedback, we encourage you to consider a Powerup related to feedback you received from your buddy or one that you may have been considering based on feedback you received from others throughout the semester. You may also wish to consider any of the other Powerups as they apply to your portfolio as it is in its present state.