The Institutes for Educational Research in NSW, SA and WA
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science
There is a growing interest in tertiary education in Australia about developing the capacity of learners to evaluate and improve both their own work and that of others (Boud & Falchikov, 2006; Oliver, 2011). In order to successfully direct their own learning beyond university (and engage in lifelong learning), students need to be able to evaluate their performance in relation to a standard, identify gaps, and determine how to bridge them in order to achieve the desired standard if required. One strategy that can be employed to help students achieve this is engaging them actively in a feedback process, so that feedback becomes an integral part of learning. In this paper the authors define feedback as a loop, meaning that the feedback process is only complete when there is not only some identifiable influence on the recipient of the feedback (Boud & Molloy, 2012), but feedback results in improved performance – a sign that learning has occurred. This paper describes how peer feedback was embedded in a third year social studies unit. Pre and post surveys of students reveal their responses to the requirement that they actively engage in evaluation and feedback. This paper explores how engaging students in peer review as part of a major assessment task affected their learning, their capacity to direct their learning, and their self-efficacy in relation to academic and real-world tasks.
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