Peer feedback is an active learning technique that involves providing opportunities for students to talk and listen, write, read meaningfully, and reflect on the content, ideas, issues, and concerns of an academic subject. Peer feedback can be defined as a communication process through which learners enter into dialogues related to performance and standards. However, peers are not supposed to ‘critique’ each other but listen for missing details, description, ask questions about parts that are confusing, and praise what they enjoyed.
While feedback from teachers is much more influential to students than feedback from peers, it is what is learnt by all students from being engaged in the process that is the strength of peer feedback, particularly in developing critical thinking skills.
Cultural, gender and socio-economic differences can have an influence on peer feedback, for example, students from some cultures may have difficulty expressing criticism or accepting peer feedback. For example, some indigenous and Middle Eastern students may have some difficulty in providing critique, while some Anglo-Europeans have more difficulty accepting peer feedback than some students from Asian cultures. Please be sensitive of all students in your group, and encourage everyone to participate to their capacity.
It should be emphasised that we are not engaging in peer assessment and students should be always trying to assist each other to improve your lesson plans, not assess them. You will receive marks for engaging with the peer feedback process, and submit a summary of feedback received and provided, but this will not be assessed against criteria, only that you have completed it.
During tutorials each week you will have 3 minutes to orally explain your two lesson plans (Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies), and then 2 minutes to receive brief feedback from each of the peers in your group. You should record the feedback you provide to others, and the feedback you receive.
Peer Learning takes the concept of Peer Feedback further, with the theory of Connectivism proposing that the knowledge we can access by virtue of our connections with others is just as valuable as the information carried inside our minds. The learning process, therefore, is not entirely under an individual’s control—learning can happen outside ourselves, as if we are a member of a larger group where many people are continuously updating a shared database.
As much of your teaching feedback and assessment on work placement practicums and internships will be conducted by your supervising teachers using a peer feedback process, you will gain from a better understanding and practice at this technique. Once teaching, you may find the use of video recordings useful in conducting peer or self assessment of your teaching.
These strategy can be used to practice and develop your ability to provide peer feedback. They can also be used for self-assessment and set personal learning target.
I noticed / I wondered(weeks 2 and 3)
The simplest form of peer feedback is to provide a series of points, 'I noticed' for positive and negative observations, and 'I wondered' for advice on improvements.
After the third week, move on to providing feedback in a more structured way using:
Two Stars and a Wish(weeks 4, 5 and 6)
Identify two positive (stars) aspects of the work and then express a constructive wish about what they might do next time in order to improve another aspect of the work. 'I want to give you a star for the anticipatory set idea of doing a demonstration to engage students and a star for the way you described the use of a quiz to assess their leaning. I wish that you would tell us more about how you would develop the concept of sequence using the BeeBot robots.'
Once you have become effective at providing feedback using Two Stars and a Wish, in Week 7 progress to:
Plus, Minus, What's Next?(weeks 7, 8 and 9)
Comment on what was done well in relation to the assessment criteria for Lesson Plans (Portfolio of Learning), where a criteria was not achieved at the highest level, and a suggestion on how to improve this.
When you have become adept at Plus, Minus, What's Next, and you know each other very well, in Week 10 move on to providing feedback in a less structured way using:
Warm and cool feedback(weeks 10 and 11)
When you comment on the positive aspects of a peer's work, you are giving warm feedback, and when you identify areas that need improvement, you are providing cool feedback. You should provide suggestions on 'how to raise the temperature' and give advice about how your peer can improve their work.