Designing Peer Feedback

Peer feedback can lessen grading as well as support students in taking responsibility for their learning. To be effective, however, there needs to be an intentional process with well-crafted questions.

Getting Started

Questions for Students

  • Students need to be given clear directions about what feedback they need to provide
  • Do not assume that providing aural instructions will be enough; provide written questions where students can fill their questions in on the provided handout
  • Avoid yes/no questions as you will invariably get a yes or a no rather than a thoughtful response
  • Avoid questions that elicit an emotional response or provide room for judgment

Focus on mini-tasks

  • Focus on tasks or mini-assignments for the student to do in order to provide an intentional focus
  • Some examples include: identify the main point of the work, at what stage did you identify the main point of the project, what justifications did the presenter provide to make the main point

Grading peer feedback

  • It can be challenging to grade each of the peer assessments from both a practical and pedagogical perspective
  • What has been found to be valuable is for a faculty member to look over the feedback and be sure that the student was attentive and responsive to their fellow student