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Peer assessment allows students to give and receive feedback to and from their peers. It empowers students to take ownership in their own learning and allows them the opportunity to develop assessment skills they can use in other life situations. Peer reviews can take as little as 5 minutes to as much as an hour and can take place in an online or face-to-face environment, depending on the class.

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A casual critique is meant to create an empathetic environment that encourages students to feel comfortable and aware of how others may perceive their work. Begin by providing students with guiding questions or a checklist of topics to comment on prior to a critique session. This encourages students to get into the mindset of critiquing, as well as being critiqued. It may be beneficial to break up a critique session into several classes to ensure engagement and quality feedback. 

Active Learning Technology & Furniture

  • Movable tables and chairs
  • Available mobile devices (for students to jot down thoughts prior to speaking or to make note of feedback received)


Create a list of characteristics that are important to the success of an assignment. Write descriptions of those characteristics and arrange them into a form, such as a criteria grid. Depending on the assignment, the form may have an area for open-ended responses. Forms can be completed asynchronously online (different time, different place) or synchronously (same time, same place).

Active Learning Technology & Furniture

  • Movable tables and chairs (for face-to-face peer review sessions)
  • Available mobile devices (for students completing online forms)


Ensure students are prepared with printout/digital copies of their assignment. Prior to the activity (or before class), arrange chairs in parallel so students face each other, like “speed dating”. Use music or some sort of timer to give students about 5 minutes to read/view their partner’s work and give constructive feedback on one thing. After 5 minutes, have one row move a seat down so everyone has a new partner. Restart the timer for 5 more minutes of feedback. At the end of a few rounds, half of the class will have received feedback from several peers. This activity can be repeated immediately or the next day for the other half of students to receive feedback.

Active Learning Technology & Furniture

  • Movable chairs
  • Available mobile devices (to share work)


This activity is a great way for students to receive regular peer feedback and suggestions throughout the completion of an independent project. Divide students into small teams who they will meet with throughout the assignment. During team feedback time, each member shares their assignment as a “work-in-progress” and states 2 things they want help with. Members respond with constructive feedback. Team feedback times can range in length, depending on where students are with their assignments.

Active Learning Technology & Furniture

  • Movable table and chairs
  • Mobile devices (to present work-in-progress and/or to record feedback)


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“Student Collaboration: Managing Learner Expectations”


Peer Response Guidelines: Formative
Guidelines can be used to ensure students understand what’s expected of them when giving and receiving peer feedback. The file below is a checklist that students can refer to throughout a feedback session.


Download File


Canvas: Peer Review Assignment
The “Peer Review” function in Canvas is a great way for students to provide annotated peer reviews.

Turnitin PeerMark
eerMark is an online peer assessment tool where students can evaluate each other’s work and give feedback.

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emonstrate openness toward divergent viewpoints. Act on opportunities for improvement.

emonstrate the ability to analyze and interpret alternative points of view, evidence, statements, graphics, and questions through written and verbal dialogue with others. Process and reflect collectively on errors, gaps and challenges.

ffer and accept constructive feedback. Read and listen analytically with understanding and openness toward divergent viewpoints.

Use feedback from peers to improve their own work and the work of others. Recognize that accepting feedback in a positive way is important to success.

Use various tools to share work and provide feedback. Apply initial criteria for evaluating both the information and its sources.

Listen actively. Ask questions to clarify, understand and appreciate others' points of view. Communicate openly. Provide sound ideas and respect for the ideas of others.