Burning Questions from Teachers

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“The students either give superficial feedback, or it can end up causing all sorts of hurt feelings. I’m not sure it’s worth the time and effort.”

With a bit of planning and preparation, peer feedback can become an effective strategy to support student learning. Here are some  things to consider when working to implement effective peer feedback in the classroom.

1. Feedback about the Right Things

Students need to know the learning destination to help them stay focused.

It’s All about the Outcomes

If feedback is to improve learning, it must be focused on helping students consider the quality of their work in relation to the outcomes.

Let’s Talk about It

What are some of the ‘big ideas’ you want students to learn? How do the students know what those ‘big ideas’ are?

Scaffolding is Essential

As with any new skill, students will need support to help them become effective at giving and receiving peer feedback.

Let’s Talk about It

Check out an AAC Performance Assessment Task. Notice how the Formative Feedback Tools provide questions and prompts to help students focus on the ‘big ideas’ from the Student Task.

Ideas, Not Carbon Copies

Instead of encouraging students to copy another student’s work, effective peer feedback opens up possibilities to students.

Let’s Talk about It

Think about an upcoming student task or project. How could the task be structured so it was open-ended enough to be suitable for a peer feedback experience?

2. Create a Safe Classroom Environment

Assessment can evoke an emotional response. A safe classroom environment is essential if peer feedback is to have its intended impact.

Building a Classroom Community

A safe classroom environment requires more than just physical safety.

Let’s Talk about It

How can we help students develop trust so they will be willing to engage in open conversations about their learning?

Try the Sandwich Technique

Feedback can include both areas of strength and areas for growth. The two categories might not be equal in focus, but feedback can always be respectful.

Let’s Talk about It

How can we help students learn the skill of providing feedback that is both honest and respectful?

A Word about FOIP

What do teachers need to consider when students have access to the work of other students?

Click image to download PDF.

Let’s Talk about It

When planning for peer feedback, what steps will you need to take in order to respect students’ privacy?

3. Timing is Everything

The best feedback takes place while there is still time to use the feedback to improve the work.

You’ve Got Feedback: Now What?

Students are encouraged to reflect critically about the feedback they receive, and make decisions as to their next steps.

Let’s Talk about It

What support will students need in order to think critically about the feedback they receive?

Feedback at the Right Time

The right feedback at the right time is a winning combination for students.

Let’s Talk about It

Consider how you might include a peer feedback experience in an upcoming lesson or series of lessons. Be sure to allow time for students to act on the feedback they receive. 

Have More Questions?

What’s wrong with assigning group grades?

While group work is an important part of the curriculum, it is essential that individual student grades be based on what individual students know and can do. A student’s grade cannot be based on what another student has – or has not done.

Read More »

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