Is peer feedback the most effective way to teach?
David Kofoed Wind
504

At my Uni we had peer feedback enforced on us in some subjects. The advantages were presented as you have pictured in your article, but the execution given the time constraints was a disaster. We, as students wasted time and gained not much of a useful experience. For sure the one who benefited were the teachers who had less work.

The big misunderstanding is the idea of letting learners evaluate others learners. “Evaluation, which includes using information to form and defend opinions and judge a piece of work based on a set of ideas”. One should ask himself a question: does the learners have a skill internalized already in order to evaluate his peers? My guess that majority of them don’t. That’s why we call them learners. They don’t have yet the knowledge and experience to form and defend opinions and judge a piece of work of their peers who are at similar level. That’s the role of a teacher. Untrained learners might give false feedback that may do more harm than good.

The solution might require a teacher to closely monitoring the process. However, a teacher would have to have a lot of time on his hands to allow the peer feedback and then to evaluate it thoroughly.

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