Involving Undergraduates in Assessment: Assisting Peers to Provide Constructive Feedback

Adriana Signorini
  • Assessment Update, November 2014, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1002/au.30002

Undergraduates training their peer to provide constructive feedback using a rubric.

What is it about?

The feedback initiative (FI) is a research project carried out by the SATAL Program in which trained undergraduates instruct students in their classrooms to use effective feedback practices with the help of a rubric to provide constructive feedback. In the FI, a rubric offers students criteria to enhance the effectiveness of their feedback. Through an interactive peer-presentation, SATAL students presented the rubric to 221 students in 12 courses, and we collected direct and indirect evidence of learning.

Why is it important?

Students are often asked to reflect on their learning to provide feedback to peers as well as instructors. According to Bloom's taxonomy of learning, the ability to evaluate is a skill at the higher end of the taxonomy, which most undergraduates are still developing. However, since very early in their college lives, students evaluate instruction, typically with little or no formal training. For feedback to be a powerful learning tool, instructors should train students to use effective practices, and a feedback rubric could provide the framework to promote this learning effectively.

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