The Importance of Peer Feedback
Critical and motivational feedback increases productivity, overall knowledge retention and more quality in students work. Feedback is essential for to:
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. 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.
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.
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 subject matters that are complex, open-ended assignment expectations can leave students feeling more anxious or relying on their own abilities which might be ill-suited to your class when approaching assignments. By reviewing peers' assignments through formative assessment it allows students to have contemporary models to explore and adopt whether it be for writing, presentation techniques and etc.
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. Some of our very own professors use Kritik as an online peer assessment tool for professional development. Professor Nada Basir teaching entrepreneurship uses the feedback students provide one another as a means of improving communication so that students are concise when articulating problems.
What skills can your students gain?
- Increase leadership and communication
- Critical thinking Skills
Students Love It
Experiential learning, where students are learning hand-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.