Peer Review/OG

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Peer Review
Contributors Joseph Bergin, Christian Kohls, Christian Köppe, Yishay Mor, Michel Portier, Till Schümmer, Steven Warburton
Last modification June 6, 2017
Source Bergin et al. (in press 2015)[1]; Warburton et al. (2016)[2][3]
Pattern formats OPR Alexandrian
Learning domain

Summary: Develop your students as autonomous and self-regulated learners by asking them to review each other’s work and provide feedback.


You have limited time to give detailed and personal feedback but want learners to improve the quality of their work through constructive comments on their outputs.


Providing feedback is a valuable activity but is often a one-way conversation with the tutor. This dominate dynamic means that students do not reap the benefits of developing their evaluation skills and retain only a limited ability to reflect critically on their performance.

•To develop mature and autonomous learners they need to be engaged in the assessment conversation. They need to be able to understand and self-assess their work.
• Students do not like to release their work ‘early and often’ and do not have the confidence to redraft their work.


Therefore develop assessment processes whereby students build their confidence in reviewing each other’s work and are able to provide meaningful and actionable feedback to each other and thus by extension on their own work.

Solution details
There are various forms in which to carry out a peer review session:
• Through a managed student Crit Session (Crit Session)[4];
• Through collaborative writing exercises that ultimately result in an authentic outcome such as the submission of a piece of work to a conference;
• By using more experienced students as mentors who are associated with the novice students.
• You should also check student confidence where they will potentially have difficulty in understanding a particular feature they are trying to peer-review/assess - particularly in cases where they are in the process of acquiring the skill in question e.g. spotting the correct use of the future tense in language learning which could be incorrectly assessed as well conjugated. Therefore in a peer review/assessment setting you can ask the student to give a Confidence Indicator (Confidence Indicator) alongside the mark they have given for a particular item of assessment.

Positive consequences

Peer review provides low risk opportunities for students to take increased responsibility for the assessment process. It also enhances their ability to self-evaluate and self-regulate their learning.

Watch out for

Peer review activities need to be scaffolded and must be differentiated from peer assessment where actual marks are assigned. This additional responsibility of assigning a grade can provoke anxiety in the learner and often requires an extra layer of moderation.


At the University of Surrey, veterinary students work in small groups to peer assess each other’s performance in relation to working with the public in a veterinary surgery. They watch each other perform in a short role-play exercise and then reflect as a group[5].

Research indicates that embedding peer practices in curricula is one factor that has a high impact on student learning[6]. Reviewing others’ work develops critical thinking and independence of judgement, reduces dependency on the teacher, and results in students generating feedback for themselves while they produce it for others (see JISC guide).

Related patterns

Use with Trusted Space (Trusted Space)

May involve a Crit Session (Crit Session); is based on Showcase (Showcase)

Draws on Peer Feedback (Peer Feedback)[7]


  1. First mentioned in Bergin, J., Kohls, C., Köppe, C., Mor, Y., Portier, M., Schümmer, T., Warburton, S. (in press 2015). Assessment-Driven Course Design - Fair Play Patterns. In Proceedings of the 22nd Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (PLoP 2015). New York:ACM
  2. Patlet published in Warburton, S., Mor, Y., Kohls, C., Köppe, C., & Bergin, J. (2016). Assessment driven course design: a pattern validation workshop. Presented at 8th Biennial Conference of EARLI SIG 1: Assessment & Evaluation. Munich, Germany.
  3. Pattern published in Warburton, S., Bergin, J., Kohls, C., Köppe, C., & Mor, Y. (2016). Dialogical Assessment Patterns for Learning from Others. In Proceedings of the 10th Travelling Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (VikingPLoP 2016). New York:ACM.
  4. Berger, R. (2003). An Ethic of Excellence: Building a Culture of Craftsmanship with Students. Heinemann, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.:New Hampshire.
  5. Dochy, F. J. R. C., Segers, M., & Sluijsmans, D. (1999). The use of self-, peer and co-assessment in higher education: A review. Studies in Higher education, 24(3), 331-350.
  6. Nicol, D. (2014). Guiding principles for peer review: unlocking learners’ evaluative skills. In K. Kreber, C. Anderson, N. Entwistle and J. McArthur (eds). Advances and Innovations in University Assessment and Feedback. Edinburgh University Press, 197-224.
  7. Bergin, J., Eckstein, J., Völter, M., Sipos, M., Wallingford, E., Marquardt, K., Chandler, J., Sharp, H., and Manns, M.L. (2012). Pedagogical patterns: advice for educators. Joseph Bergin Software Tools.