Peer review

Student peer review creates opportunities for social learning and rich feedback. This learning strategy also supports students in developing evaluative judgment.

What is it?

Peer review invites students to evaluate the work of their peers and offer feedback to each other. Like self-assessment , peer review challenges the idea of the teacher as the sole source of knowledge and gives students an opportunity to develop evaluative judgement through an active engagement with assessment criteria. Peer reviews can be useful in many different contexts. Students can review each other’s assignment plans, essay drafts, research proposals, portfolios, team project components or project outputs, such as presentations, and artefacts. Students can also review each other’s skills or individual contributions to a team effort in the context of team-based projects. For an effective peer review that generates actionable feedback, it is important to give students structure in a form of an assessment rubric. Well-planned peer review activities are an excellent peer-learning opportunity and a chance for students to receive regular feedback on iterative assessment tasks, such as a workbook or an e-portfolio.

Why is it useful?

Benefits for students

  • Prompts students to actively engage with assessment criteria and develop their understanding of intended learning outcomes
  • Promotes cohort building and a sense of belonging
  • Encourages student self-reflection and metacognition and, in turn, develops their capacity for independent learning
  • Builds students’ skills in providing feedback and integrating feedback

Benefits for educators

  • Allows you to implement low-stakes, formative assessment with opportunities for regular feedback without adding to your workload

How do I implement it?

To implement peer review in your teaching, try these strategies:

  • Prepare and prompt students to give valuable and actionable feedback by modelling how to give appropriate feedback. It is important to give students direction on what quality looks like in a particular assessment task. For example, a peer review activity can be based on an assessment rubric and direct reviewers to supplement their rubric selections with additional feedforward comments that focus on future improvements.
  • Choose a peer review format that aligns with the intended learning outcomes and your teaching context. Peer review can be organised in a few different ways: individual students can review the work of other individuals or groups, student groups can review other student groups, and group members can review contributions of other members within their group. For example, if students are working in teams to produce an artefact or a performance, the peers outside of their team – either individually or in groups ­– can review a plan or a rehearsal. This will give project teams a milestone to work towards and an opportunity to receive formative feedback in a low-stakes environment. At the end of the project, students can also review other members of their own team based on their individual performance or contribution to the collective effort. This can manage free-riding and incorporate an individual
  • Use peer reviews to implement iterative or nested assessment designs. For example, if the summative assessment is a research proposal, students might each write an early draft of their unique research aims, exchange their drafts for peer review, and submit an early, low-stakes assessment including both their draft and a reflection explaining how they integrated peer feedback. Peer review can be similarly implemented for most presentations, reports, designs, and even coding assignments, so long as the prompt allows enough breadth for students to all have unique responses.
  • Prompt students to reflect on the feedback they received from peers. In their reflections, instruct students to explain how they adopted peer feedback. Assigning small marks to the reflection task will encourage students to engage seriously with feedback from peers. Exercises like this can have a positive effect on academic integrity.

Supporting technologies

  • FeedbackFruits is a user-friendly tool that can facilitate peer review for both individual and group submissions of text, images, video, and other formats. With an interface for both giving and receiving feedback, FeedbackFruits makes it easy for educators to set up a clear review structure aligned with assessment criteria, and to support students in giving criteria-based and actionable feedback.
  • FeedbackFruits can also facilitate group member evaluations – a form of peer review where students assess individual contributions of other group members within their group or project team. Group Member Evaluation tool in Feedback Fruits allows you to set up structured, criteria-based evaluations where students assess each other via a rubric or a rating scale. You can also enable the self-assessment option to direct students to review themselves before reviewing others.
  • Padlet can facilitate informal peer reviews, particularly in group-to-group scenarios. For example, students can upload pre-recorded presentations or posters on a Padlet, and other groups can ask questions and leave comments. This can work in both asynchronous and synchronous environments. If using Padlet in an asynchronous environment, you can embed it on a LMS page.
  • LMS Discussions can offer a forum to discuss assessment drafts and provide formative peer-to-peer feedback. It is important to set up LMS Discussions as a small group discussion so that students feel comfortable to share their work-in-progress drafts. You will need to first set up LMS Groups by either grouping students randomly or manually. In the LMS group discussion space, students can upload text and multimedia files and respond to each other’s posts.
  • Poll Everywhere can offer an opportunity for informal peer review in real time. Students can respond to a poll or a survey about an in-class presentation or a performance.


This page was last updated on 17 Oct 2022.

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