Conversations and Perspectives on Peer Feedback for Problem Solving

Keywords: Peer assessment, peer feedback, formative assessment, learning partnerships, scientific problem solving, reflection


Peer feedback has been suggested as an avenue to leverage students as partners in their own learning and assessment across many disciplines. However, successful implementation of peer feedback activities may prove challenging if students believe that feedback requires more objective expertise than they possess. Summarizing participant contributions and dialogue from a conversation café session at the 2018 University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching, this paper explores and classifies the common themes in peer feedback in the context of literature on the subject. The most promising areas for future research and practitioner support in scientific problem-solving tasks are highlighted.


ArchMiller, A., Fieberg, J., Walker, J. D., & Holm, N. (2017). Group peer assessment for summative evaluation in a graduate-level statistics course for ecologists. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 42(8), 1208–1220.

Carnell, B. (2016). Aiming for autonomy: formative peer assessment in a final-year undergraduate course. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 41(8), 1269–1283.

Çevik, Y. D. (2015). Assessor or assessee? Investigating the differential effects of online peer assessment roles in the development of students’ problem-solving skills. Computers in Human Behavior, 52, 250–258.

De Wever, B., Van Keer, H., Schellens, T., & Valcke, M. (2011). Assessing collaboration in a wiki: The reliability of university students’ peer assessment. The Internet and Higher Education, 14(4), 201–206.

Gielen, M., & De Wever, B. (2012). Peer Assessment in a Wiki: Product Improvement, Students’ Learning And Perception Regarding Peer Feedback. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 69, 585–594.

Gielen, S., Peeters, E., Dochy, F., Onghena, P., & Struyven, K. (2010). Improving the effectiveness of peer feedback for learning. Learning and Instruction, 20(4), 304–315.

Hamer, J., Kell, C., & Spence, F. (2007). Peer Assessment Using Aropä. In Proceedings of the Ninth Australasian Conference on Computing Education - Volume 66 (pp. 43–54). Darlinghurst, Australia, Australia: Australian Computer Society, Inc. Retrieved from

Jones, I., & Wheadon, C. (2015). Peer assessment using comparative and absolute judgement. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 47, 93–101.

Kaufman, J. H., & Schunn, C. D. (2011). Students’ perceptions about peer assessment for writing: their origin and impact on revision work. Instructional Science, 39(3), 387–406.

Li, L., Liu, X., & Steckelberg, A. L. (2010). Assessor or assessee: How student learning improves by giving and receiving peer feedback. British Journal of Educational Technology: Journal of the Council for Educational Technology, 41(3), 525–536.

Lombrozo, T. (2006). The structure and function of explanations. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 10(10), 464–470.

McGourty, J., Dominick, P., & Reilly, R. R. (1998). Incorporating student peer review and feedback into the assessment process. In Frontiers in Education Conference, 1998. FIE ’98. 28th Annual (Vol. 1, pp. 14–18 vol.1).

Panadero, E., Romero, M., & Strijbos, J.-W. (2013). The impact of a rubric and friendship on peer assessment: Effects on construct validity, performance, and perceptions of fairness and comfort. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 39(4), 195–203.

Potter, T., Englund, L., Charbonneau, J., MacLean, M. T., Newell, J., & Roll, I. (2017). ComPAIR: A New Online Tool Using Adaptive Comparative Judgement to Support Learning with Peer Feedback. Teaching & Learning Inquiry, 5(2), 89–113.

Reinholz, D. L. (2015). Peer-Assisted Reflection: A Design-Based Intervention for Improving Success in Calculus. International Journal of Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education, 1(2), 234–267.

Reinholz, D. L. (2016). The assessment cycle: a model for learning through peer assessment. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 41(2), 301–315.

Reinholz, D. L., & Dounas-Frazer, D. R. (2016). Using Peer Feedback to Promote Reflection on Open-Ended Problems. Physics Teacher, 54(6), 364–368.

Thomas, G., Martin, D., & Pleasants, K. (2011). Using self- and peer-assessment to enhance students’ future-learning in higher education. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 8(1), 1–17. Retrieved from

van Zundert, M., Sluijsmans, D., & van Merriënboer, J. (2010). Effective peer assessment processes: Research findings and future directions. Learning and Instruction, 20(4), 270–279.

Conference Theme: Students as Innovators