What do students consider useful written peer feedback? A Biomedical Laboratory Science Student Perspective

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Reflection is essential in clinical practice. At the Biomedical Laboratory Science program, University College Copenhagen, we use peer feedback to facilitate reflective learning.
Fourth semester students give anonymous criteria-based written peer feedback on individual written assignments.
Surveys show that our students are more positive about the learning outcome of giving than receiving peer feedback.
We aimed to gain insight into the students’ perspectives on what characterizes useful written peer feedback. A better understanding may help faculty, as well as the participating students themselves, facilitate the development of students´ ability to give useful feedback.

Summary of work
Two anonymous surveys were distributed (n=55). The students were asked to select: (1) two useful feedback comments, from 12 randomly chosen examples of previous students´ peer feedback and explain why they found them useful, (2) a useful feedback comment after receiving peer feedback on their own assignment, explain why they found it useful and suggest how it might have been even more useful.
Authors independently reviewed comments and explanations and categorized the content according to Voelkel(2020): Feedback type (content, writing skills, and motivational), level of feedback depth (acknowledgement, correction, and explanation) and further characteristics (easy wins, specific, and feedforward). Agreement between authors was reached.

Summary of results
In the first survey (n=30), most frequent features of the students’ justifications of selected feedback examples were content (82%), correction (57%) and specific (45%).
In the second survey (n=33), most frequent features of the received feedback were content (61%), writing skills (55%), motivational (85%), explanation (55%) and specific (52%). Analyzing the students’ justifications, most common were motivational (42%), acknowledgement (30%)/correction (36%) and specific (36%).

Discussion and Conclusion
According to the students, useful feedback should address errors of the content and give advice on how to correct problems. However, we were more inclined to mention the third level of feedback depth (explanation) than the students were. The students didn´t include the aspect of praise in their justifications for the selected feedback examples from previous students, but highly appreciated motivational comments on their own assignment.
Take Home Messages
Asking students to explain why received feedback is useful, may increase awareness and encourage students to develop their ability to give feedback.
Periode29 aug. 2023
BegivenhedstitelAMEE Glasgow 2023 - An International Association for Health Professions Education: Inclusive Learning Environments to Transform the Future
PlaceringGlasgow, StorbritannienVis på kort
Grad af anerkendelseInternational


  • didaktik
  • peer feedback