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7: Peer Feedback and Reflection

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    Workshop Overview

    Scientific teaching is at its core an evidence-based pedagogical approach.  Peer feedback based on class observation is another form of evidence that we can gather to give us an indication of the effectiveness of our teaching. During this workshop, participants will discuss the merits of feedback and reflection in helping inform course revision and improvement and practice giving feedback using two course observation rubrics - a peer mentoring rubric and a class observation protocol. Participants will also develop a 1-year mentoring plan with a colleague to provide feedback to one another on their classes. 

    Learning Outcomes

    Participants will be able to:

    • use a peer feedback rubric to provide guidance on how to make classes more active and student-centered
    • use an observation rubric to provide an objective snapshot of a peer’s current use of engaged pedagogies for self-reflection
    • develop a 1-year plan for visiting the classes of a peer using these rubrics to help one another develop reflective practices

    Key Terms

    • Peer observation
    • Student-centered learning
    • Active learning
    • Peer Feedback
    • Reflection

    Active Learning/Formative Assessment Strategies

    • Small group discussion/breakout rooms
    • Whole class discussion
    • Brainstorm
    • Peer observation



    Nationally, campuses are measuring the use of active learning (Stains et al., 2018). Lecturing still predominates in post-secondary STEM classes, but active, students-centered strategies are being adopted. Transitioning to active learning from lecture or Socratic methods can be uncomfortable.  Peer feedback and mentoring provide support that can reduce feelings of isolation during the process and improve performance in the classroom.  The peer observation protocol that we train participants with during this workshop (COPUS, Smith et al, 2014) is the same metric used in the Stains et al., (2018) nationwide project. We will use this rubric in the Generalized Observation and Reflection Protocol (GORP) platform, an online and smartphone compatible platform develop at UC Davis. 


    1. Sign up for a Generalized Observation and Reflection Protocol (GORP) account
      • Go to
      • Click "Sign Up"
        • Your site administrator will assign you the roles you need (observation-create, observation-destroy, course-create, course-view, course-destroy, course-update)
      • Complete the sign up, and search for your university / college in the Institution box.
    2. Watch this 9-minute Introduction video on GORP:

    During Workshop


    1. Download the Peer Mentoring Rubric to practice giving feedback on a video clip.  We will use this same rubric to give feedback during the final presentations. 



    1. Develop your 1-year peer feedback/reflection plan: visit the Peer Feedback and Reflection Google Folder then go to the folder for your institution.
      • Make a copy of the 1Yr Peer feedback reflection document, rename it as yours and use it to develop your mentoring plan.
      • Fill out your plan for pairing up with another person, preferably a MoSI participant/alumnus to visit each other's classes and get feedback on your teaching in the coming year. You can leave a copy here to revisit at any time, but you can also download the copy for your convenience.

    Selected Resources

    • Peer Evaluation Feedback Guide adapted from Jenny Momsen/FIRST IV - Peer mentoring rubric.pdf
    • A statement created by Dr. Peggy Brickman (UGA) that extols the virtues of taking part in peer mentoring and evaluation accompanied by a list of references. This statement can be added to yearly teaching evaluation portfolios for participants who visit one another's classes and provide peer feedback and mentoring. Peer Mentoring and Evaluation blurb for yearly teaching evaluation.pdf
    • A great new resource for an evidence-based, departmentally-defined approach to enhance teaching evaluation called TEval at CU Boulder, by Drs. Noah Finkelstein, Joel C. Corbo, Daniel L. Reinholz, Mark Gammon, and Jessica Keating.

    • A tool for utilizing the noise level in your classroom to gage the % of times that students have an opportunity to be actively engaged in class: Decibel Analysis for Research in Teaching (DART): Developed by Kimberly Tanner.
    • Video demonstrations of active learning techniques
      • Wendy Dustman – University of Georgia teaching Microbiology for Biology Majors using the flipped classroom model and collaborative student working groups
    • Tessa Andrews – University of Georgia teaching introductory biology for non-science majors using a series of problem-based challenges related to sex determination 
    • Mara Evans – University of Georgia teaching ecology and competition in an introductory course for biology majors using a categorizing table
    • Erin Dolan – University of Georgia introducing a peer review activity on vaccines for an introductory biology course for non-science majors.
    • Paula Lemons – University of Georgia teaching regulation of energy transformation pathways for a Biochemistry course for biology majors.
    • Erin Dolan –University of Georgia teaching regulation on energy transforming pathways for a Biochemistry course for biology majors using model building, clickers, and collaborative learning.
    • Peggy Brickman – group testing  University of Georgia


    7: Peer Feedback and Reflection is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.