Dr Charlotte Dean, Lecturer/Researcher in Education
With a background in youth work and informal education, my approach to learning is, like many of my colleagues within the School of Education (and beyond!) grounded in collaborative, participative principles rooted in social justice and democracy. In my teaching practice I was finding that this collaborative approach to learning was being parked to one side when it came to that midway point in the module when the students were starting to put together their ideas and potential structures for their forthcoming assessments and were requiring feedback on their plans.
Rather than sitting down with each student individually to impart my own reflections on their assessment plans, I felt that the process could be enhanced through incorporating a peer feedback cycle within the module which would capitalise on the wealth of experience and knowledge that the group as a whole possessed.
Each student presented to a small group, their chosen topic along with a brief outline of how they planned to structure their assignment in relation to the assessment task. Peer feedback then ensued in the form of a short, structured discussion whereby the group reflected on whether the plan presented to them met the assessment criteria appropriately. The main points from each discussion was recorded through using Google Docs as these could be annotated in real time by several contributors (though in future, I would plan to utilise the virtual learning environment platform of Canvas as some students found gaining access to the Google Doc after the session was problematic). One student from each group then volunteered to carry out a live typing up of the feedback discussions. This was displayed on the large screen in the lecture theatre and then the main points were collated and any common areas of particularly good practice and/or areas for development were discussed as a group with the option for individual tutorial sessions as a follow-up if required.