Student peer assessments are structured opportunities for students to provide and receive meaningful feedback on their work from their classmates. Engaging in peer assessment (also called peer review) fosters important skills for both the student doing the review and the one receiving the review. By serving as a reviewer, students learn how to provide constructive feedback. Moreover, students receiving feedback can gain a fresh perspective on their work and make improvements prior to their final submission. By helping students learn how to give and receive constructive feedback, peer assessments provide students with valuable skills that transfer to real-world settings where collaborative work is common. This is especially the case for students in STEM disciplines, where peer review is an important component of the publication process. Partaking in a collaborative process to improve each other’s work also promotes higher engagement with the course material, better understanding evaluation criteria and increases a sense of belonging among students, all of which are known to improve student academic success (Cho and MacArthur, 2010; Gilken and Johnson, 2019).

Best Practices to Incorporate Peer Feedback in Assessments

Peer assessments can improve student work without a proportionate increase in instructor workload. Nonetheless, instructors need to prepare students for peer review with adequate instruction and examples to be effective. Expand the boxes below to learn more about best practices and resources to incorporate student peer assessments in your courses.