PEER FEEDBACK PRACTICES IN STUDENT TEACHERS LABORATORY COURSE: A CASE STUDY IN PRIMARY EDUCATION PROGRAM
University of Salerno
Hattie, while studying empirical evidence, assumed that feedback is the most important single influence on student achievement (1987); as the specialist literature shows, peer feedback has many advantages compared to feedback provided by the instructor (Smith, 2017) and positively impact on students’ learning and responsibility (Boud & Soler, 2016). Peer feedback connects objectives, contents, and results of the learning process. The student that is significantly engaging with the work of his peers needs to be focused on strategies, methodologies, contents and, gives attention about the task’s consistency with the aims. Furthermore, the student which has done an assignment and is then invited to provide feedback to another student on that same task, is forced to examine in depth teaching materials, having the opportunity to further advance his knowledge. This effect can be observed in the student’s knowledge, skills, and attitudes: in fact, peer feedback helps the learner maximizing his potential, improving his awareness of strengths and weakness, and suggests actions to be taken to improve learning performance.
This paper will offer the findings of a case study about peer feedback practices in a university course. Qualitative case study research project is still in progress: the study involves about 70 Primary Teacher Education students attending the Educational Technologies Laboratory, planned for the fourth year of the academic program. The validity of the laboratory activities in the teacher training program is declared in the Ministerial Decree no. 249/10, which provides for the acquisition of no. 33 University Formative Credits (UFC), in the five years course. In future teachers training, the transition from theory to professional practice is one of the most relevant aspects (Calvani, 2011; Zecca, 2014): the practical knowledge becomes knowledge-tool if future teachers can learn by doing, in a learner-centered context of teaching and learning.
Laboratory activities are structured in self-organized working groups: each group should carry out an assigned task, using a collaborative learning model. In accordance with the specialist literature, the teacher in charge of the Educational Technologies Laboratory has provided peer feedback training (Li, 2017; Restiglian & Grion, 2019), informing the class about the value of judging each other and supporting self-assessment and peer reflections models. On completion of the laboratory, each group will present the work done to the class, with visual support. At the same time, each group will fill in an observation schedule, prepared by the teacher and should report the peer assessment results. The research analysis will be oriented to investigate trust and reciprocity, fundamental factors to the success of these peer feedback practices and in balancing educational relationships.
MUTUAL FEEDBACK EXCHANGE AND PEER ASSESSMENT DURING TEXT REVISION IN PRIMARY SCHOOL
University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy
This paper aims to highlight how text revision in primary schools, through the use of collaborative approaches, can be an opportunity to promote the development of peer assessment skills by exchanging mutual feedback. Starting from the analysis of practices related to text composition (audio and video-recorded) collected by graduating students in the Teacher Training Course (University of Milan-Bicocca), in contexts where writing is considered a socio-cultural practice, it became evident how both teachers and pupils can be protagonists in the revision of texts despite the fact of its complexity (Bereiter, Scardamalia, 1995). For this to be possible, however, it is necessary for revision to become a subject of teaching that enables reflection upon what needs to be corrected, what strategies should be put in place and who oversees correction. In addition, it is essential that certain conditions are fulfilled. Firstly, it is important to create a relational atmosphere within the class in which pupils realize that all texts are changeable and can always be improved. In this way, revision does not become a “chase after errors” but encourages pupils to propose changes to correct the text and to provide formative evaluations, in the way that they indicate to their peers the actions they can take to improve the text. Secondly, in order to develop pupils' competence in providing feedback and mutual evaluation, it is necessary to propose collective revision teaching practices in which the teacher works together with the pupils to identify what can be corrected in a text, how it can be corrected and what strategies should be used. Without this type of collaborative revision, which requires a lot of teaching time, the risk is that feedback will be superficial, focusing only on the orthographic aspects of the text, without developing adequate revision skills such as coherence, cohesion, and relevance of the text to the purpose. Finally, it is necessary to promote a diversity of teaching practices in which pupils can revise texts in small groups, in pairs, by exchanging or self-reviewing them (Teruggi, 2019). Particularly effective have been activities where, for example, texts are hung up in the classroom and displayed for a week, allowing pupils to leave an evaluation of the text and suggestions for its improvement on post-it notes. This strategy is particularly significant both for the author of the text, since he receives more critical and improving looks at his own work, and for the post-it writers, since they have to explain to their peers the strengths and weaknesses of the text, as well as the aspects to be improved. In doing so, authors and reviewers necessarily reflect on the process of writing (planning, transcription and revision). In these school contexts e-learning also offers precious opportunities for peer correction, exchange of feedback and evaluation. On different platforms (Classroom, Padlet, Edomodo, etc.), children write, give feedbacks on word choice, syntactic forms, spelling mistakes and on the global quality of the text.
ASSESSMENT AS LEARNING: A REFLECTIVE APPROACH TO MAKING FEEDBACK LITERACY SUSTAINABLE FOR PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS
1University of Verona, Italy; 2University of Verona, Italy
Assessment as Learning (AaL), which is considered a sub-set of assessment for learning approach, helps improve students' learning processes thanks to the development of personal metacognitive and self-regulation strategies. It occurs when they monitor what they are learning and use the feedback to make adjustments, adaptations, and even significant changes in what they understand (Earl, 2014).
This paper aims to present the AaL approach implemented at the University of Verona in the 2019-2020 academic year within the Educational research course. In addition to lessons aimed at acquiring knowledge, the students were also offered to carry out an authentic task (the elaboration of a proposal to participate in a simulated call for the financing of educational research projects), which implied a real relevant activity that presented complex activities, to be carried out over a prolonged period of time (Herrington & Herrington, 2006) also to acquire research skills.
This teaching strategy was flanked by a parallel AaL path consisting of moments of peer and self-assessment and reflective activities. This strategy's objective was not only to allow students to improve the assignment during the course but, above all, to make them acquire a greater awareness of the assessment culture and practices.
The teachers also proposed a feedback literacy path inspired by the Winstone & Nash model (2016) to make the evaluative judgments and the feedback formulated during the peer and self-assessment more effective Nicol & Macfarlane-Dick, 2006). Its goal was to facilitate the students' acquisition of understandings, capacities, and dispositions concerning assessment, feedback, and evaluative judgment (Winstone & Carless, 2019).
Combining a feedback literacy path with an authentic task, albeit complex in its design and challenging in terms of carrying out for students, is considered effective in the literature (Wang, Wang & Huang, 2008). It is configured, like few other experiences within the Italian panorama (Grion & Serbati, 2019), within the broader framework of sustainable evaluation, i.e., an evaluation that meets both the students' present and their future needs (Boud, 2000).
Boud, D. (2000). Sustainable Assessment: rethinking assessment for the learning society. Studies in Continuing Education, (22)2, 151-167.
Earl, L.M. (2014). Assessment as Learning. Using Classroom Assessment to Maximize Student Learning. Cheltenham (Vic): Hawker Brownlow.
Grion, V., & Serbati, A. (2019). Valutazione e feedback nei contesti universitari. Lecce: PensaMultimedia.
Herrington A., & Herrington J. (Eds.) (2006). Authentic learning environments in higher education. Hershey, PA: Information Science Publishing.
Nicol, D.J., & Macfarlane-Dick, D. (2006). Formative assessment and self-regulated learning: A model and seven principles of good feedback practice. Studies in Higher Education, 31(2), pp. 199-218.
Wang, T.H., Wang, K.H., Huang, S.C. (2008). Designing a Web-based assessment environment for improving pre-service teacher assessment literacy. Computers & Education, 51(1), 448-462.
Winstone, N. & Carless, D. (2019), Designing Effective Feedback Processes in Higher Education. A Learning-Focused Approach, London: Routledge.
Winstone, N.E. & Nash, R.A. (2016). The Developing Engagement with Feedback Toolkit (DEFT). York, UK: Higher Education Academy.
PEER ASSESSMENT AND PEER FEEDBACK TO FOSTER COLLABORATIVE LEARNING AND TO CONSOLIDATE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS' WRITING SKILLS
1Department of Education Science, Roma Tre University, Italia; 2Department of Education Science, Roma Tre University, Italia; 3Department of Education Science, Roma Tre University, Italia
According to national and international studies peer assessment and peer feedback have a major role in student learning processes (Topping et al., 2000; Moretti et al., 2015; Grion & Serbati, 2017). In the process of knowledge building the possibility of making use of peers can foster collaborative learning and the development of critical thinking. Within the university context providing writing activities in peer groups by introducing peer feedback and peer assessment allows to activate analysis, review and self-assessment processes of one’s own paper, consolidating language skills (Boscolo, 2014; Piemontese & Sposetti, 2014). The paper provides the results of an exploratory survey conducted with 380 students from the Roma Tre University. The main goal was to investigate the effectiveness of peer assessment and peer feedback to help develop strategic skills, and to enhance collaborative writing skills in digital format. The peer assessment activities implied the formation of pairs of groups that mutually assessed the argumentative text produced, using a semi-structured grid. The students eventually answered a questionnaire. The analysis of the data showed that the work carried out in peer groups, through a process of collaborative learning, contributed to develop both metacognitive skills and the exercise of leadership of the students involved. The outcomes of the research confirm the importance of introducing writing tasks in the university context which, based on peer assessment and peer feedback, can improve the quality of the training.