APRES: electronically managed student feedback via peer review

Raoul A. Mulder, Mark A. Elgar, Declan Brady

Abstract


Students maximise learning when they receive timely and detailed feedback on their performance from teachers as well as peers. Yet in many subjects taught at university level, feedback consists only of grades and written commentary from teachers, on a final version of submitted work. This form of feedback provides little incentive or opportunity for improvement and places considerable demands on staff in subjects with high enrolments. In 2004 we addressed these problems in our subject Experimental Animal Behaviour, by involving other students (peers) in the feedback process, and designing a web-based software platform APRES to manage the administratively complex task of exchanging submitted work and reviews between students in an anonymous context. We evaluated the success of our innovation by means of written student evaluations, changes in Quality of Teaching survey scores, and changes in the quality of submitted work. All three areas indicate that the project was highly successful. We believe that there is considerable promise for widespread application of this form of feedback and the software platform that enabled us to implement it.

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