Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Power of The Peers....

Reviewing of a planned project or an implemented project after it has been completed is often a time educators create that “sigh of relief”.  The feeling of relief that it is over.  However, this is a crucial time to analyze and adjust your project for the… time you implement a project like this one.   Maybe you are in that one-room schoolhouse, but probably not. It’s 2014 and you probably are required to work with other educators on these projects.  Maybe it’s the librarian at your school, the tech teacher or other teachers on your team or grade level that helped you implement this project.  Regardless of who, it’s imperative that you take planning time to analyze what went well, what didn’t go well, how the student’s formative and summative assessments turned out and how the authentic audience and students evaluated themselves and the process of the project and the adjustments to make later.  This analyze and adjust phase is our learning process as educators to implement the best strategies to meet the needs of our students. 

In our class this week, we had a peer review our project, look at a rubric and give educators feedback on the understandings of the project.  This peer reviewed feedback helps us with the analyze and adjust part of our project.  This peer feedback is an instructional strategy designed to increase interaction among the students and add value to our learning process.  Sometimes, though, it’s difficult to give a peer or co-worker meaningful feedback that helps them reflect on the process and think about their own work.  Sometimes that peer or co-worker refuses to accept negative feedback as accurate.  The greatest potential benefit of peer feedback might not be receiving it, but providing it.  When you provide feedback on someone’s project or ideas, you begin to think critically of your own work and look to improve your own project as you analyze the peer’s project in a new way.

Using peer review with other educators is as important as my students using this instrutional strategy. There is a need to understand the structure of peer reviewing someone’s work or project using a rubric so that they can begin to evaluate their work differently.  My 2nd graders peer review others work a lot.  I learned last year that they are much better at finding other student’s mistakes, then finding their own.  Peer reviewing is structured so that there is accountability on both sides. Remember that peer reviewing might be more beneficial in the providing of it part because that is where we can see our students make the connection to their own work and apply their thinking. 

    Ertmer, P. A., Richardson, J. C., Belland, B., Camin, D., Connolly, P., Coulthard, G., Lei, K., ... Mong, C. (January 01, 2007). Using Peer Feedback to Enhance the Quality of Student Online Postings: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12, 2, 78-99.