Peer Feedback – University of Copenhagen

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Peer Feedback

Student-to-student feedback on emerging artefacts

A novelty approach in formative assessment context is the active involvement of students when assessing a peer’s work, known as peer assessment. When students get engaged in peer-assessment activities, they produce peer feedback, which could potentially assist peer assesses but also peer assessors in their learning process.

Peer assessment is conceptualized as an educational arrangement where students judge peers’ performance by providing grades, and/or offering written or oral feedback.

Peer-assessment can be one-way or two-way (reciprocal). In one-way peerassessment, students undertake either the role of the assessor or the assessee. On the other hand, in reciprocal (or two-way) peer-assessment, students undertake both the role of the assessor and the assessee, by assessing each other’s work. The rationale lying behind reciprocal peer-assessment is that all students are given the opportunity to experience both the role of the assessor and the assessee and benefit from both practices. In order to implement reciprocal peer-assessment pairs of individual students or pairs of students’ groups need to be formed. Then the pairs of students and/or groups share their work/learning outcomes from the learning process. Initially in the peer-assessor role, the students are asked to assess their peers’ work and to produce peer feedback. The aim of the qualitative peer feedback (e.g. oral or written comments which could include suggestions and recommendations for future action) is to assist peers in identifying the strengths and weakness or their work and in addition to provide suggestions for improving their learning process.

As far as the skill of judging the performance of a peer is concerned, students are responsible to critically analyze and judge a peer's performance, by applying the assessment criteria that have been given by the teacher. With regard to the skill of providing feedback, peer assessors need to communicate their judgments to peer assessees and provide constructive feedback about their learning process. After having completed their task as peer-assessors, students change roles and become the assessees.

Why incorporate peer feedback in your teaching and assessment practice?

In reciprocal peer-assessment students could potentially benefit from experiencing both roles. Firstly in the peer-assessor role, the students practice and develop the aforementioned assessment skills. Second, when writing feedback, students have more opportunities to engage in important cognitive activities, such as critical thinking (e.g., deciding what constitutes a good or poor piece of work), reflection etc. Third, students’ informational resources expand by viewing and reviewing peers’ work since they are given the opportunity to see examples of other students’ work. This could potentially lead to experiencing implicitly self-assessment too, by comparing their own work and that of their peers’, hence reflecting on their own learning achievements.

ASSIST-ME suggests the following steps to increase the quality of student-to-student (peer-to-peer) feedback:

  1. Develop teaching and learning materials targeting relevant competencies.

  2. Before the implementation, the students should be introduced to the roles of the peer-assessor and the peer-assessee. During the implementation, the students alternate between the two roles.

  3. As part of the teaching and learning materials, student(s) submit to their peers certain artefacts they produce, associated with the competence under emphasis. These artefacts can be produced either by individual students or by groups of students.

  4. The student(s) provide feedback to their peer(s). The process of exchanging peer feedback is supported by specially designed templates, which encompass criteria for assessing the specific artefacts. These tools are developed by the teacher. In the ASSIST-ME-project, we used two specially designed templates that you can access by clicking here and here.

Example of a teaching plan for the competences of empirical investigations in science and argumentation

Context: Denmark

Assessment Method: Peer feedback

Educational level: Lower secondary level

Example: Peer feedback on identified questions

Assessment Method: Peer Feedback

Competence in focus: Empirical investigations in science

Example: Peer feedback on lab-journal entries

Assessment Method: Peer Feedback

Competence in focus: Empirical investigations in science

Example: Peer feedback on written data: Lab journal

Assessment Method: Peer Feedback
Competence in focus: Engineering design in technology

Example: Peer-assessment of technical sketches

Assessment method: Peer feedback

Competence in focus: Innovation competence

Example: Peer-assessment on students’ artifacts

Assessment method: Peer feedback

Competence in focus: Modelling Competence

You can find more material from the partner countries that implemented Peer Feedback by clicking on the links below