Peer Feedback for Enhancing Students’ Project Development in Online Learning

Peer Feedback for Enhancing Students’ Project Development in Online Learning

Swapna Kumar (University of Florida, USA), Johanna Kenney (University of Florida, USA) and Vasa Buraphadeja (Assumption University, Thailand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1936-4.ch018


The use of peer feedback is a strategy for online educators to facilitate collaboration among students and increase critical reflection. Through the well-designed use of peer feedback, students can, with help from other students, master concepts and ideas that they cannot understand on their own (Lu & Bol, 2007; Vygotsky, 1978). The process of giving and receiving peer feedback closely resembles professional practice (van den Berg, Admiraal, & Pilot, 2006; van der Pol, van den Berg, Admiraal, & Simons, 2008) and helps students develop life-long skills. This case study describes the use of peer feedback in an online graduate practicum course to support students and increase their exposure to different educational environments. It includes suggestions for effectively using peer feedback in online courses.
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Setting The Stage

Instructor supervision and support of distance students’ practicum experiences poses multiple challenges for online university programs (Simpson, 2006). On-campus teacher education programs typically include a practica where students collaborate with a teacher or expert in their practice while simultaneously mentored by an instructor in the program. Regular meetings between these three stakeholders (the student, the collaborator in their practice, and the instructor in the program) provide opportunities for updates, support, and advice. Face-to-face programs or courses that involve field experiences also consist of regular on-campus student meetings in order for them to share experiences, discuss issues and plan together. In the online environment, however, it is difficult to organize or replicate the face-to-face interactions that occur between the three stakeholders. Likewise, coordinating a face-to-face meeting of all students engaged in field experiences in different locations is a difficult task.

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