|PEER FEEDBACK (reciprocal peer critiquing)|
|Main departmental proponents: Dr Lorna I. Morrow, Dr Steve W. Draper|
|When academics provide feedback to students on their work, the students have an opportunity for development, in terms of applying what the academic has suggested to current and future coursework, as appropriate. However, asking students to read and provide feedback on each others' work (peer feedback) would seem to provide additional benefits that supplement those from staff feedback. In particular, it would seem that both the student receiving feedback and the student providing feedback benefit from the process.|
Potential benefits to students receiving peer feedback:
- Students receive additional feedback, either before, in addition to, or instead of feedback from staff (if staff members are unable to give feedback, e.g. for summative assessments);
- Feedback received from peers may actually be easier to understand and apply than feedback from staff, since the student assessors will be at roughly the same level of academic development as the students receiving feedback.
Potential benefits to students providing peer feedback:
- In 'wrangling' with the assessment criteria in order to evaluate another's work, the student assessor should obtain a better understanding of what makes a piece of work good or bad;
- after assessing others' work, the students should be better able to apply the same objectivity in evaluating their own work, thus engaging in more effective self-assessment (i.e. considering what the goals should be for their work, to what extent their work meets these goals, and how they can bring their work to the desired level - a valuable and transferable life skill);
- in reading others' work, the students will hopefully become aware that the assessment criteria can be reached through different means (e.g. different structures, different information included, etc.), which should encourage students to focus more on reaching the assessment criteria by any appropriate means, without feeling constrained to any perceived 'rigid mechanics' (e.g., a particular structure, format etc.);
- peer feedback should encourage students towards independence (or co-dependence on peers, rather than dependence upon the tutor), and autonomous and active learning, whereby students take responsibility for their learning by being sure to find out what they need to know, and not leaving these things to 'chance' or hoping for the best!
- the process of giving feedback would require that the student assessors engage with the content of the work at a deep level, and so this may improve their knowledge of the topic.
|Thus, Level 3 and 4 students are encouraged to engage in peer feedback of their coursework (critical reviews and project reports), in order to take full advantage of these benefits. Initial evaluation of this (see Morrow, 2006) suggests that students found engaging in peer feedback helpful for improving their coursework and their confidence in writing coursework, reported that they were very likely to engage in peer feedback for future coursework assignments, and were of the opinion that peer feedback should be encouraged.|
References, further information and dissemination:
Draper, S. W. (2008). Reciprocal critiquing exercise for tutorials
Draper, S. W. & Morrow, L. I. (2009). Reciprocal peer critiquing reconsidered. Talk presented at the 2nd Annual University of Glasgow Learning and Teaching Conference - 24th April 2009. Available here
Fallows, S. & Chandramohan, B. (2001). Multiple approaches to assessment: reflections on use of tutor, peer and self assessment. Teaching in Higher Education, 6 (2), 229-246.
Morrow, L. I. (2006). An application of peer feedback to undergraduates' writing of critical literature reviews. Practice and Evidence of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 1(2), pp 61-72. Available here.
Morrow, L. I. (2006). An application of peer feedback. Talk presented at the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Symposium, University of Glasgow, 19th September 2006.
Nicol, D. J. & Macfarlane-Dick, D. (2006). Formative assessment and self-regulated learning: A model and seven principles of good feedback practice. Studies in Higher Education, 31 (2), 199-218.
Van den Berg, I., Admiraal, W. & Pilot, A. (2006a). Design principles and outcomes of peer assessment in higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 31 (3), 341-356.