In this talk the speakers presented data on how students perceive activities of providing feedback to peers and receiving feedback from peers. They found that reviewing work of peers is perceived as a beneficial activity – even more beneficial than receiving feedback from peers. The biggest concern of students engaging in peer review is that they are uncertain about the quality of the received feedback in absence of teacher’s feedback. This probably partly explains why receiving peer feedback is not seen as beneficial as providing peer feedback. Providing feedback to other peer’s work allows for implicit or explicit comparison with one’s own work – this is particularly true when students are reviewing high quality work.

Check out the recording and the slides for more details on the findings.

See you at the next TILE Network seminar.


Peer review not only results in students receiving additional feedback from peers, but they also compare (i.e. self-assess) their own work against the work they are reviewing and generate internal feedback out of those comparisons. The aim of this study was to make explicit the internal feedback that naturally occurs during peer review and self-review in order to examine it, including the effects of different comparisons on the type of internal feedback students generate. Students anonymously reviewed 3 pieces of work via an established online peer review tool. Two of these online submissions were from their peers, and one was an exemplar written by the teacher. In the first study, after each peer review, students were prompted by the instructions to compare their own work against a rubric (the same rubric used to review their peers’ work).  In the second study, after each peer review, students were prompted to make deliberate comparisons of their work with other students’ work. After both, students were asked to write down what they learned (their self-review comments). Both cohorts then received feedback comments from their peers on their work.

Self-review comments were analysed for content, process and self-regulatory feedback. Analysis revealed qualitative differences between the two types of comparisons in the extent of content, process and self-regulatory feedback that students generated, and in the degree of elaboration in their responses to the prompts. Students’ perceptions of the contribution of the review process to their learning were also evaluated using a quantitative questionnaire, open ended questions and focus groups. The findings show that while the process of ‘reviewing and commenting’ is perceived as challenging, students believe they learn more from comparing, reflecting and generating feedback for themselves than from receiving feedback comments. The results will be discussed in terms of the use of peer review as a method to generate internal feedback and how different kinds of comparisons can alter the nature and quality of this internal feedback. We end by briefly discussing these results in the light of other recent research on feedback comparisons that builds on this work.

About the speakers:

Dr Maxine Swingler is a Lecturer in the School of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Glasgow and has been teaching since 2003, currently leading the MSc (conversion) programme in psychology and teaching qualitative research methods and professional skills.  Her pedagogical research interests focus on embedding graduate attributes within the curriculum, assessment and feedback and she has completed research for the QAA Scotland on graduate skills, led workshops and developed good practice resources in employability and group work.  She also works with the British Psychological Society (BPS) Division of Academics Researchers and Teachers (DART-P) and BPS Scottish Branch in organising conferences and CPD events for teachers and researchers in psychology.



David Nicol is Research Professor in the Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow where he leads the Teaching Excellence Initiative. He was previously Professor of Higher Education at University of Strathclyde and Director of the Re-Engineering Assessment Practices [REAP] project (, a £1m project exploring how new technologies might support improved assessment and feedback practices across three Scottish Universities. David has many highly cited publications, for example, on formative assessment and self-regulation, on feedback dialogue, peer review, peer instruction, e-assessment, e-learning and change management. His recent research and publication on ‘The Power of Internal Feedback’ won the Silver Award for Innovation in the Science of Learning at the 2020 International Reimagine Education Conference ( ).


Dr Lorna Morrow is a Lecturer in the School of Psychology and Neuroscience University of Glasgow.  She is programme lead for the Level 3 Psychological Studies programme, and currently teaches Memory, Research Methods, and Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology (online).  Her  current pedagogical research interests include various factors affecting student performance, such as assessment and feedback, well-being/psychological distress, impostor phenomenon and statistics anxiety.