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Active pedagogies are on the rise! Flipped classroom, blended learning, peer learning, serious games, role-playing, we see more and more of these methods tested at every level of learning. However, evaluations are mostly excluded from the teaching field. In fact, according to our study of about one hundred trainers and teachers, about 40% said they gave more importance to the course than to the evaluation they considered secondary. Prioritizing pedagogy is good, only evaluation is an integral part of it, it is even one of the main tools which help making a better pedagogical strategy.

That being said, it is important to constantly question the effectiveness of evaluation methods by testing several different formats. One of these formats works particularly well and can, in many cases, have a contribution to learning far superior to other methods: Peer Feedback, or Peer Feedback (also known as Peer Feedback). review). So first of all, how to define this method?


Defining Peer feedback

Peer feedback is an evaluation method that consists in giving the role of marker and evaluator to learners. They evaluate each other, comment and make suggestions to improve their peer's work. If they play the role of the teacher, it does not disappear from the system. Indeed, the teacher will play the role of coach and auditor to ensure the smooth running of such an exercise. The purpose of this exercise is to provide learners with the ability to reason and judge the value of arguments from a multitude of individuals. It is, therefore, an excellent method for reinforcing the critical thinking and analytical skills of the learner, according to David Kofoed Wind, CEO of Peergrade, who offers a digital solution that makes it easy to set up and manage the evaluation. between peers. It is also an opportunity for him to foster trust and group work.


Are learners' feedback as precise as instructors'

One can doubt the accuracy of the learners' rating among themselves. Indeed, they do not seem qualified to perform such an activity. However, if the method is explained by the teacher in the first place, one quickly arrives at a quasi-correlation between the notes of the teachers and those given by the learners. According to the study How Accurate is Peer Grading? by Scott Freeman and John W. Parks, learners tend to give better grades to their peers in 25% of cases. Plus, they give an average of 1.22 more points on a scale of 10. Obviously, here there is nothing to worry about.


When to use Peer feedback?

It is necessary to ensure that the learner group is of a fairly homogeneous level. The more the group will be, the more transparency there will be and the more it will be reflected in the notes and comments.
Ensure the anonymity of the learners. A recent study showed that when learners knew that their comments and notes would remain anonymous, the more they were of quality
Make sure to take the time to train learners for this type of evaluation before putting it in place, otherwise, it will maximize the bad use cases and the disengagement of the participants.
While this method is applicable for a wide range of evaluation questions, it remains more effective on essay, essay, or short answer-style questions. Indeed, it is in these kinds of questions, requiring the formulation of arguments, that the learners see their analytical capacity exploited to the maximum both during the composition and during the evaluation of the peers.
Peer feedback is extremely effective on ongoing training or assessments. Indeed, it pushes learners to always be more rigorous, discerning and critical, this is his goal. It is therefore important that targeted evaluations are not too important. To proscribe for standardized exams, competitions or any types of important exams academically.


Peer feedback, the best evaluation method?

A good nutrition is healthy and varied nutrition. In the same way, the best way to learn about a subject and to remember that knowledge is to approach the subject from different angles. It's the same for evaluations. Peer feedback may be interesting and effective, it can not be the only model used. Nevertheless, it is clear that his contribution to pedagogy is important in a context where:

  • we must train ourselves against the fake news
  • soft skills are gaining momentum (and Peer feedback makes it easy to acquire many soft skills)
  • active pedagogies have proved their worth

Game on! Test it and tell us what you think!