Leveraging Peer Feedback as a Learning Tool

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Peer feedback or review refers to a process where students review and make judgements about the work of their peers (Nicole et al., 2014). During peer feedback or review activities, students have the opportunity to both give and receive feedback on work in progress. Peer feedback can be a valuable classroom assessment strategy if you are aiming to integrate more learner-centered teaching practices. This Hub post offers strategies for harnessing peer feedback to enhance student learning and foster active lifelong learners.  

Before we dive into how to make the most of peer feedback from students, I suggest checking out this article on the Teaching and Learning hub. It has useful insights to consider when planning and guiding the peer feedback process. To assist your students in benefiting from peer feedback and enhancing their learning, you may want to consider the following guidelines. 

  1. Create a safe and supportive classroom environment where students feel comfortable providing and receiving feedback from their peers. 

Once you establish a sense of safety and comfort among your students, including those who are culturally diverse, they gain the confidence to actively participate in and derive enjoyment from the collaborative process of providing and receiving feedback from their peers.  

  1. Explain to your students the importance of peer feedback in the classroom. 

Take the time to elaborate to your students the significance of peer feedback within the classroom setting. Discuss how it plays a crucial role in their learning experience, fostering a collaborative environment where they can learn from each other’s perspectives. Emphasize that peer feedback is not just about receiving comments but an active process that helps in refining their understanding, improving their work, and contributing to a shared knowledge base. By seeing the value of peer feedback, your students can better engage in the process. 

  1. Provide detailed peer feedback guidelines for your students 

Give students clear and detailed instructions on how to provide feedback to their peers, so they have a good example to follow. You could show your students how to give feedback, either in a group or during a class session by offering an example of feedback yourself or encouraging students to collaborate on providing sample feedback. Additionally, you may initiate discussions about instances of both effective and less effective feedback to support students in the process. 

  1. Use prompts or other structures to assist students in developing their feedback 

Prompts assist students in crafting their feedback, especially students who might be providing feedback for the first time. You can support your students through the use of prompts to provide a starting point or foundation for their feedback. For instance, you can create a choice board with sentence frames to provide students with additional support as they give each other focused feedback.

Peer Feedback Choice Board  
Directions: Select TWO prompts from the peer feedback choice board to provide your classmate with specific, meaningful, and kind feedback. Capture your feedback in the space below the choice board! 

Greatest Strength Identify the strongest aspect of this draft. What specifically was strong? Why do you think this element was particularly powerful or well done? How did this element positively impact the overall quality of the draft? 

Tiny Tweaks Identify one aspect of this draft that would benefit from a minor adjustment, modification, or tweak. What would you suggest the student rework or reimagine in this draft? How would reworking this element of their draft impact the overall quality? Do you have specific recommendations for how they might improve this aspect of their draft? 

Celebrate Surprises As you reviewed this draft, what surprised you about this student’s work? Was there an aspect of their work that was unexpected, original, outside-of-the-box, engaging, or particularly thought-provoking? Describe why you liked this aspect of their work. 

Hungry for More Identify a part of the draft that needs further development. What would you have enjoyed knowing more about or having more information on? Where could more detail and development have strengthened this draft? Can you identify the specific places in the draft where the student should spend time digging deeper?  
Mind Blown Identify something in this draft that you loved and had not considered as you completed your draft. Is there a great idea or approach that this student used to complete this draft that you would like to incorporate into your work? Why did you like this element of their draft? How can you incorporate this idea or approach into your revision? 

Clarifying Confusion As you reviewed this draft, was there anything unclear, confusing, or that left you wondering? Is there an aspect of this draft that you would like clarity on or more specific about? Were any of the steps or statements unclear? Can you identify specific elements of this draft that would benefit from clearer language and/or more explanation? 
Choice Board Selection Write your feedback below. Please be specific and kind. 
Title of Feedback Prompt #1:    
Title of Feedback Prompt #2:    

Figure 1: Peer Feedback Choice Board (Turker, 2021). 

5. Provide students with opportunity to reflect and have conversations on feedback received

After students have read what their classmates wrote and got some feedback, it is good to give them a chance to think about what they learned and how they can make their own work better. You can encourage students to have a conversation about the feedback they have given or received.


While peer feedback is a valuable tool for improving learning, incorporating it into final grades poses challenges that can compromise the integrity of both the assessment process and the learning experience. To preserve the effectiveness of peer feedback as an improvement assessment tool, consider using it primarily for formative purposes, focusing on growth and skill development in your students rather than final outcomes.


Shwetz, K., & Assif M. (2023). Teaching peer feedback: How we can do better. https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2023/03/01/student-peer-review-feedback-requires-guidance-and-structure-opinion.

Turker, C. (2021). Peer Feedback: Making It Meaningful. Retrieved on January 3, 2024, from https://catlintucker.com/2021/04/peer-feedback/.

Oxford Teaching Ideas (2021). Peer feedback https://www.ctl.ox.ac.uk/peer-feedback.

Nicol, D., Thomson, A., & Breslin, C. (2014). Rethinking feedback practices in higher education: a peer review perspective. Assessment & evaluation in higher education, 39(1), 102-122. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02602938.2013.795518.

David Baidoo-Anu

David Baidoo-Anu, Ph.D. (Education),brings vast professional experience as a researcher, educator, and assessment specialist, particularly within the contexts of North America (especially Canada and the USA) and Africa. He has previously taught courses such as Educational Statistics, Educational Assessment, Educational Research Methods, Evaluation of Teaching and Learning, Psychological Foundations of Education, and several other educational courses. Dr. Baidoo-Anu has also worked as an educational and assessment specialist and consultant with international organizations such as the World Bank, Educational Testing Services (ETS), and others.

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