I imagine just about all venture creation course instructors innovate their course design continuously. I tweak course policies here and there, but occasionally a tweak is so successful and probably uncommon enough that it might be worth sharing.
Usually, in my venture creation course, I get 1-2 teams that gripe about how I grade their business proposals and/or overall grade. For me (and again, probably for many instructors), it's actually pretty clear whether a team deserves an A versus an A- versus a B+/B for their semester's body of work and their effort. Yet I still get the griping.
This semester, for the first time, I allocated a small proportion of each person's grade based on the grade that their team received from the other teams
... that is, a kind of 'inter-team' peer evaluation. I collect data from individuals who grade the other teams, not data from teams grading teams. Of course, this kind of grading component works best when there are at least a moderate number of teams in the course. For this semester, I had 5 teams total and I thought I'd give it a whirl.
There are some obvious methodological (and statistically-oriented) details with this kind of thing, of course.
I won't go into how (I attempted) to address those details here, or the handful of features of a venture creation course that would better support the use of this kind of extra grading component, but in short, it went well. Besides the 360-degree feedback that I usually collect from students re: themselves and their teammates, they seemed to feel that I was respecting their taste in assessing the efforts and output of other teams (which was indeed part of the point). After grading all team deliverables and calculating the students' "inter-team evaluations", I determined that my scoring versus the class's scoring for each team correlated quite well. When I notified students of their final grades, and told them in a mass mail that my own evaluation largely matched "the other teams' evaluations", it appears this was able to forestall basically all griping.
This semester, I made that component 10% of the course grade, but in the future I may make it just 5%!
Again, I'm leaving out several details (!), but certainly happy to share those with anybody interested.
chihmao dot hsieh at sunykorea dot ac dot kr