The importance of peer feedback
Critical and motivational feedback increases productivity, overall knowledge retention, and more quality in students' work. In turn, peer feedback is essential to:
1. Adopt new knowledge
For starters, students are building an investment in their writing or ability to solve problems. It helps students understand the relationship between their work and their course expectations. Students learn from what peers have to say from the feedback received on the assignment in the form of peer review. This may look like how to interpret different methodologies if there is more than one way to reach the answer or having peers ask complex questions that further increases curiosity.
2. Identify mistakes
One of the clearest benefits of peer review is having students identify errors in one another's submission. Automatic grading systems can determine if a statement was right or wrong but for subjective related work, it does not provide the why. This is important for students to improve from their mistakes for long term growth.
3. Keep everyone on track
For courses that do not incorporate group related work and rely heavily on independent studying, using online peer review tools can be a great way to ensure that students feel aligned. For certain complex subject matters, open-ended assignment expectations can make students feel more anxious or reliant on their abilities which might be ill-suited to your class discussions when approaching assignments. By reviewing peers' assignments through formative assessment, allows students to have contemporary models to explore and adopt whether it be for writing, presentation techniques, etc.
4. Enable personal growth in their academic career
Positive and constructive feedback further encourages and motivates students as they progress through a course. Simply knowing that you have been meeting or going beyond assignment expectations is a great sign that you are achieving the desired learning outcome (1). What's even better is that students learn the skills of providing effective feedback and learn to deal with negative feedback, so that it empowers educators and students to be more effective in the feedback process.
Some of our very own professors use Kritik as an online peer assessment tool for professional development. Professor Nada Basir uses the feedback students provide to one another in teaching entrepreneurship. This serves as a means of communication improvement to make students concise when articulating problems. Constructive criticism or positive feedback is relevant for personal and professional development.
What skills can your students gain?
Increase leadership and communication
- Critical thinking Skills
- Problem solving
Ways to give effective peer feedback
Basically, effective teaching incorporates collaborative learning, self-assessment and regulation, meta-cognition, and peer tutoring. All of these are the primary components of an effective peer review. So, how can a peer review be effective for student learning? Below are some steps you can take:
1. Use of a feedback rubric
Encouraging students to make specific and actionable critiques can pose a challenge for teachers. Teachers may scaffold the learning process with feedback rubrics. These rubrics focus more on student support while having formative assessment through feedback.
Moreover, teachers may co-create the rubrics with their students upon formulating the criteria. This will help develop their understanding of good work. In turn, they will opt for the peer review process.
2. Review and moderate student feedback
Students tend to fear the peer review process in the case that they receive unfair feedback from their peers. To prevent this, we recommend for instructors to moderate the process through Kritik. Kritik allows for instructors to read student evaluations and add comments on ineffective feedback. Other features allow students to flag feedback and dispute grades to ensure that any insufficient feedback can be easily dealt with.
3. Let students react to the peer feedback
Kritik's peer evaluation process allows students to provide feedback on the feedback they are receiving. Students can give a rating based on how critical and motivation the feedback they received was. This step helps students become better reviewers and encourages them to be more receptive to constructive feedback.
4. Start allowing students to give feedback one at a time
Try to ask your students to evaluate something simple and short. They may create an introduction to an essay. Do peer review sessions in a classroom whenever possible rather than assigning it as their homework. This will help assist students every time they may have some questions or any issue at hand.
Never ask them to review and have feedback on many things at once. Break it down into smaller, manageable things to deal with.
5. Get actionable feedback
Student comments need to be actionable. Comments should answer questions on how feedback works and how to improve it. They should be clear to become effective.
6. Ask for timely feedback
Never wait until the end of the project or assignment before getting peer evaluations. Students tend to become busy after school with their respective sports and/or jobs. They need more time for edits. Multiple types of feedback help lessen their frustration and save time. You have to plan ahead and establish a class time to do the edit than set them as assignments or homework.
7. Provide anonymous feedback methods
Provide students with methods for anonymous feedback so they become honest in giving out their critique. These methods could include gallery walks, paper numbering, or sticky notes. You are giving them the opportunity to give negative comments too. Think ahead of student expectations before performing this activity.
Track down the offender whenever any problem will arise during the activity.
Students love it
Experiential learning, where students are learning hands-on provides students with the best of both worlds from learning in the classroom while building professional skills (2). Examples of experiential learning can be internships or assisting with faculty research or trips abroad. Students value this process as they are constantly looking for skills that will translate into the real world, and reviewing work is an essential workplace skill. Combining hands-on learning with learning by teaching is a great way for students to further reflect on their learning experience for professional growth. Evaluating current research studies, work reports, or project plans is a perfect way for students to ask the right questions, develop communication skills, and gain new insights as they plan their post-grad aspirations.
Peer feedback in corporate culture
Peer feedback should already be established in the college years for future use in corporations. The same is true in developing a corporate culture, peer feedback is critical at the workplace. Here are the reasons why:
1. Varying feedback sources
When students are out there in the real life of employment, they will be receiving feedback from their managers. Peer feedback comes from different sources on different aspects of work. Solid feedback from peers helps employees realize which area of performance needs improvement.
Receiving peer feedback helps workers better understand each other’s weaknesses and strengths. Employees work together to improve team productivity.
3. Guarantees employee engagement
Employee engagement is critical in HR and peer feedback helps employees develop engaging work culture. Peers are comfortable when they are around their peers and enable them to observe their teammates’ performance. Communication is also effective here.
4. Self-assessment and development
Feedback from peers enables employees to better understand their work and that of their peers. This leads them to find ways in utilizing their peers’ skills and become productive as a team. Peer feedback allows them to effectively communicate their ideas and suggestions. It opens an opportunity to evaluate themselves and establish themselves with feedback from different sources.
5. Removes fear
The feedback seems more informal from peers. It can be used in improving their performance at work. This gives employees comfort with each other without allowing fear.
Indeed, peer feedback is significant not just in a higher education classroom but also beyond that. The feedback is important in developing their skills for a career in the future. This is very significant for students to receive while at school for academic and professional development.