Two Pills Tips: Peer Evaluations!
Play • 7 min 


Let’s talk assignments. In order to get to higher levels of learning, we need to go beyond multiple choice/true-false. However, what is the increased burden of grading?? Is there a way that we can increase application, evaluation, and synthesis without having hundreds of papers to grade?? 


A potential solution? peer evaluation.  


Peer assessment can be defined as the application of criteria and standards to evaluate and provide feedback on the work of peers or colleagues 

In a group project, peer evaluation provides accountability of all members 

We all have to give peer feedback in our careers whether providing peer review in manuscripts or presentations, reviewing policies/procedure, etc. We also have to give feedback to peers, other professionals, students, technicians/assistants, etc 

Benefits to our students include a requirement for critical thinking and going beyond just saying “great job!” with no actual feedback 

In an evaluation of peer assessment in health professions students in Belgium, they found that students tended to grade at the high end of their assessment scale with a narrow range, but found their assessment tool to be helpful in differentiating student contribution in group work 

In an Australian study, researchers found that although students tended to give their peers’ assignments higher marks than an expert, the quality of feedback was similar and students overall found it to be valuable 

Studies have looked at evaluation from students across different campuses. If have opportunity to evaluate students from a separate campus or university, would be more likely to receive unbiased feedback.  


Keeping the process anonymous increases students confidence and comfort in giving feedback to peers 

Have to decide written vs face to face. While face to face is valuable for learning to provide feedback in the future, students may prefer written due to the anonymity.  

Start small 

Try to do in class so they can ask you for help   

I like these general recommendations to students: good feedback should be constructive, specific, kind, justified and relevant. 

Really great appendix in a 2014 article by Miesner and colleagues (published in Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning) that was given to students as a guide for feedback. Some highlights include: 

Feedback is communication from others that presents data to a person about what the others are experiencing and how this is impacting them. The purpose of giving feedback is to give a person insight that they may not see in themselves and provide them with your perception of their strengths and areas of improvement. Some guidelines for feedback—  

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