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The Power of Peer Feedback: Enhancing Learning through Psychological Safety

As educators and learners, we are always on the lookout for effective strategies to enhance the learning process. One such strategy that has gained significant attention is peer feedback. But what makes it so effective, and how can we navigate its challenges? Let’s delve into the world of peer feedback and the role of psychological safety in making it a successful learning tool.

Peer feedback is a powerful tool in the educational landscape. It not only fosters subject-specific learning but also cultivates essential feedback skills. By providing opportunities for students to practice making judgments, peer feedback contributes to the development of evaluative judgment, a crucial skill for lifelong learning (Senden et al, 2023).

However, the social nature of peer feedback can present challenges. Students may feel uncomfortable giving or receiving feedback due to fear of exposing their limitations or offending their peers. This is where the concept of psychological safety comes into play. Psychological safety is the feeling of comfort individuals experience when expressing themselves in a work environment, without fear of embarrassment or criticism from others Remtulla et al, 2021).

In the context of peer feedback, psychological safety can encourage students to candidly engage in interactive dialogue and the co-construction of knowledge (Senden et al, 2023). The Peer Assess Pro (PAP) psychological safety test can be used to identify students who do not feel safe in the peer feedback process. By identifying these students, educators can take steps to foster a psychologically safe environment, such as setting the scene for dialogue and candour, acting as an ally, maintaining a continuous improvement orientation, and encouraging interactive dialogue.

In conclusion, while peer feedback presents both benefits and challenges, the incorporation of psychological safety measures, such as the PAP psychological safety test, can help to create an environment where students feel safe and comfortable to engage in the feedback process. This, in turn, can enhance the effectiveness of peer feedback as a learning tool.

Remember, the goal is not just to create a safe space but to foster an environment that encourages growth, learning, and development. By integrating psychological safety into our educational practices, we can ensure that our students are not just learning but thriving.

Keywords: Peer Feedback, Psychological Safety, PAP Psychological Safety Test, Learning Tool, Education, Student Engagement, Interactive Dialogue, Evaluative Judgment.


Remtulla, R., Hagana, A., Houbby, N. et al. Exploring the barriers and facilitators of psychological safety in primary care teams: a qualitative study. BMC Health Serv Res 21, 269 (2021).

Senden, M., De Jaeger, D., Rotsaert, T., Leroy, F., & Coertjens, L. (2023). How to Make Students Feel Safe and Confident? Designing an Online Training Targeting the Social Nature of Peer Feedback.

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