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2.6: 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, inclusive 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. IF YOU ARE USING Generalized Observation and Reflection Protocol (GORP), then sign up for an account ahead of time by doing the following:
      • 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, found in the Google Drive Folder for Peer Mentoring.  We will use this same rubric to give feedback during the final presentations. 
    2. Send yourself a reminder to schedule your peer observation visits using
      1. Go to the website and set up a future email to yourself dated close to the beginning of the school term as a reminder to plan your peer observation visits.
      2. Include information related to the following questions:
        1. which class[es] you want to have observed
        2. who will observe your class
        3. which rubric will they use to observed, i.e. the feedback rubric, timing analysis rubric, COPUS...
        4. when will they visit, e.g., near the beginning and end to get a comparison of your progress; on certain dates when you plan to try out specific modules or strategies...



    1. If you didn't send your peer observation reminder email, do so now following the instructions directly above. 

    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.


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