Students giving feedback on the work of fellow students is a common part of a regular educational setting. This can be in the form of a comment on a presentation, or a more elaborate commentary note on made work, such as a paper or essay. According to research, the effects of peer feedback on writing performance are even comparable to the effects of teacher feedback. You can read more on this on the Leiden University website article Effect of peer feedback on academic writing.
Peer feedback can be applied in remote teaching as well, and requires relatively little preparation time. The different formats and tools that can be used for this will be explained on this page.
You could use this...
- To let students learn by analyzing and evaluating the work of others and provide feedback.
- To stimulate critical but fair evaluation skills that academic professionals need.
- As a formative (informal) assessment moment for students. By working with the final grading rubric or rules that are used for peer grading, students also become aware how their own work could be improved.
Keep in mind
- Choose the right material for Peer Feedback
Peer grading is ideally used for giving feedback on more complex work where no right or wrong answers are possible. Feedback then requires the students to analyse the work on a conceptual level. This way both the grading and graded student will learn from it.
- Manage Expectations
Make sure you share your expectations in advance, both when it comes to giving and receiving feedback. For more information on you can visit the Connect with your Students page on this website.
- Emphasise the academic setting
Giving feedback in a remote setting can feel safer than giving feedback face-to-face, this includes giving negative feedback. It is therefore important to emphasise what the expectations and intentions of this constructive feedback are.
- Work with clear criteria
Draw up the criteria for assessment in advance. Make this transparent, share them on time, and ensure that questions can be asked before or during giving peer feedback to avoid unclarity and confusion.
- Make peer feedback part of the programme
Include the peer feedback as a (compulsory) fixed part of the programme. That way the importance of this activity is emphasised.
Options & Examples
Peer feedback can be used in both small and large groups of students.. Peer feedback can be done one-on-one, but also in a small group. We have shared a few options on how to implement peer feedback below. In all the options, the students receive one or more assignments from their peers which they have to review and provide constructive feedback on.
- Using a rubric
The use of a rubric gives students the opportunity to assess certain aspects (such as clarity, persuasion, or structure) of peer work. It helps students focus on the work at a conceptual level, and prevents them from only paying attention to language, spelling, or refuting the content. More information on rubrics and the development of your own rubrics can be found via this link.
- Using annotations
The use of annotations (adding comments in a document) can be done via the LMS, but also by sharing PDF or Word files. This way feedback can be given directly in the working document of the peer. Grading criteria or guidelines need to be available for the reviewing party.
- Within the LMS
There are possibilities to set up peer feedback within Brightspace. Students can be linked to each other's work through the LMS and can submit their work via Turnitin like they are used to.
You can use Pitch2Peer to give feedback on presentations and presentation skills. Using this tool, students receive a presentation from their fellow student and provide feedback. Using a grading rubric or clear grading criteria will help ensure that students give constructive feedback.
- Video call
Giving feedback can also be done by video call, where conversations can take place one-on-one or in small groups. Using a grading rubric or clear grading criteria will help ensure that students give constructive feedback.