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Teaching Students to Give and Receive Peer Feedback: Exercises for Effective Group Work

Peer feedback is an essential component of group work and can have a significant impact on the outcome of a project. It provides students with a unique opportunity to gain a different perspective on their work and to improve their skills. However, teaching students how to give and receive feedback effectively can be challenging. In this post, we will explore exercises that can help students give and receive peer feedback in a way that is similar to an agile retrospective.

Round Robin Feedback:

In this exercise, each member of the group takes turns to share one aspect of their experience during the project and receive feedback from the rest of the group. This exercise encourages active listening and helps students understand how to give and receive feedback effectively.

Feedback Baskets:

In this exercise, students write their feedback on sticky notes and place them in different baskets labelled with different categories, such as “strengths”, “areas for improvement”, and “suggestions”. This exercise provides a visual representation of the feedback and helps students see a broader perspective on their work.

Feedback Ladder:

In this exercise, students rate their experience during the project on a ladder with “worst” at the bottom and “best” at the top. They then share their feedback with the group and discuss what they could have done better and what worked well. This exercise helps students understand the impact of their actions on the group dynamic and provides a structured way to give and receive feedback.

Feedback Fishbowl:

In this exercise, a small group of students engages in a feedback conversation in the centre of the room while the rest of the class observes. After a set amount of time, the observers switch places with the participants and a new feedback conversation begins. This exercise provides a safe and controlled environment for students to practice giving and receiving feedback and helps build confidence.

Action Item Review:

In this exercise, students reflect on the feedback they received and identify action items they will work on to improve their skills. The group then reconvenes at a later time to review the progress made on these action items and provide further feedback. This exercise helps students see the value of peer feedback and how it can be used to improve their skills over time.


Teaching students to give and receive peer feedback is an important aspect of group work. By incorporating these exercises into the learning process, students can learn how to give and receive feedback effectively and improve their skills over time. It is essential to create a supportive and respectful environment where students feel comfortable giving and receiving feedback and to ensure that feedback is integrated into the overall learning process, not just seen as an evaluation tool.

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