Is it right for graduate students to be marking each others’ work?

I was registered for an online class during the Spring 08 semester and the major project for the semester included being grouped with classmates from all over (making it difficult to facilitate collaborations), creating a module to teach the class (with software that nobody was knowledgeable about), creating assignments for our peers and then marking any assignments we created for ~15 other classmates.  This was to go on, one group per week, for 4 of the 7 weeks that this class was scheduled.  My next question is: why even have a prof?  What is he being paid for?  Week one and two had one assignment, several discussion questions, some odds and ends to contribute, and chats in 3 different “chat rooms” where one student was asked to moderate (myself in my assigned chat room), but given now direction or topic, so turned into a wasted hour of rambling.  Week 3 was when we received our groups and topics and were to create a module worth 40% of our mark.

Needless to say, I have dropped the class (the first one I ever seriously considered dropping and now have dropped).  I felt terribly guilty in doing this, since I had been assigned a group to create the module with, however, the level of stress and frustration that I was experiencing coupled with a serious lack of sleep was beginning to affect my health and my family life to a degree that I was very uncomfortable and unhappy with.

I have taken other online classes and had starkly different experiences.  Alec Couros taught ECI 831 Winter 08 semester and it was outstanding – the best class I have EVER taken – collaborative, clearly outlined expectations, exposure to several new technologies, full support from instructor and peers, reasonable assignments (my blog was one of them, which I intend to keep up- obviously!)… I could go on and on.  My point is that I have had other experiences to compare this to and even other online classes I have taken did not result in such frustration and stress as this semester’s class has.

Your thoughts on this format for a grad class?