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Peer Feedback on Student Presentations: Use Roles for Better Feedback and Engagement

When students provide feedback to each other on presentations, do you wonder:
  1. How do I help students give each other meaningful feedback?
  2. How do I keep all students engaged during presentations and presentation feedback?
One solution to both of these challenges is assigning feedback roles.
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Roles during practice presentations

For team presentations, I have students practice and give feedback with another team. For the team presenting, all team members stand and present as if it were the real thing. For the team giving feedback, each person focuses on a different aspect of presentation feedback. Here are roles I've used for 3-4 people teams:
  • Content - Provide feedback on the content of the presentation
  • Presentation Skills - Observe and provide feedback on presentation skills and slide design
  • Timer - Write down the times for each part of the presentation (or video tape it!)
If you provide each role feedback guidelines, like a checklist, questions, or rubric, it can help students give each other even more focused feedback.

Alternately, you could flip the roles so they apply to the feedback receivers instead of the feedback givers.  So, when the presenting team listens to feedback, each individual is responsible for improving an aspect of their presentation (content, communication, etc.) and then documents and reflects on that specific feedback. Having students process and categorize feedback is a way to promote feedback literacy.

Roles during final presentations

Now that students have practiced presenting in front of each other, their final presentations are much more polished. However, keeping students engaged with feedback helps them connect with the criteria and apply it or reflect on their own work.

A strategy I've used to encourage 100% participation during Q&A is to assign feedback roles. These roles help students consider the tone and function of their own feedback. They also ensure that presenting teams get a mix of positive and constructive comments. The roles below were adapted from EcoRise's design curriculum and can be used for team or discussion roles as well.
  • Optimist - I love the idea that..., I really liked how you...
    • Innovator - What if...? Did you consider the idea to...?
      • Analyst - How does this part work...? Can you explain more...?
        • Pessimist - This part seems infeasible because..., How will you overcome the challenge of...?
          At a table of 4, each student chooses a role to provide specific feedback or ask questions. I also give each student a post-it note for them to write down the feedback question or comment before they share with the class. Then, I ask students to turn in their post-it notes at the end of class to encourage everyone to engage in the feedback process.

          Your turn!

          If you give these strategies a shot, let us know how it goes! And share in the comments: How do you facilitate meaningful feedback on student presentations? What are your biggest successes and challenges with students giving feedback to each other?

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