The quality of written peer feedback on undergraduates’ draft answers to an assignment, and the use made of the feedback

Walker, Mirabelle (2015). The quality of written peer feedback on undergraduates’ draft answers to an assignment, and the use made of the feedback. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 40(2) pp. 232–247.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2014.898737

Abstract

The research described here investigated the quality and characteristics of peer feedback given on a draft piece of writing in the context of an undergraduate summative assignment. It also investigated whether the recipients made use of the feedback, with the aim of discovering whether some types of feedback were used in preference to others. The peer feedback was characterised in various ways, and then a comparison with the feedback subsequently given on the polished piece of writing by the tutor was used to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the peer feedback. Although the peers’ feedback had some different characteristics from that of the tutors, it was nevertheless of good quality. The examination of the use the recipients made of the feedback showed that much feedback was ignored. The use recipients made of the feedback depended very little on the characteristics of the feedback received, but did vary strongly across the recipients. The ability level of the recipients was not found to be a factor in this variation. The results of this research suggest that future work needs to focus more on students using feedback than on students giving feedback.

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