VUF - Examples from practice

Example 4

Actors: Peer assessment, lecturer and self-assessment
Type: Writing articles 

Thora Grothe Thomsen,
Institute of Regional Health Research
Faculty of Health Sciences
Bibi Hølge-Hazelton,
Director of a research institute & research associate professor
Region Zealand and National Institute of Public Health, Copenhagen University

The feedback activity in brief
In this feedback activity, the course leader, course participants and the author of the article all provide feedback on the final draft of the article. The objectives of the feedback are to highlight elements in the article that can be improved, and come up with ideas for how to improve these elements. Another objective with this feedback activity is to motivate the author to continue working on the article, especially when it is going ‘uphill’.

This feedback activity was applied in a course on how to write articles, and it was arranged by Region Zealand where both professional as well as scientific articles are produced. The course supports participants in writing articles that document completed development- or research projects within the health sector in the region. The purpose of this is to encourage more staff to document and produce articles within the health profession.

The course comprises six lessons with 6-8 course participants in each class.

The actual activity and its extent
The activity is inspired by “reflecting teams”, in which the course participant (also author) is asked some reflecting questions, to which the other course participants can contribute with reflections and comments to the extent that the author allows. Generally, one or two course participants are asked reflecting questions during a session of 30 minutes. The course participants also receive feedback from the lecturer.

There are two phases in this activity:

Phase 1 is preparation at home, where each course participant read through the specific draft keeping in mind a number of fixed questions. Then the article is read from a ‘worm’s eye view’ and next it is read again from a ‘bird’s eye view’.

In phase 2 the author is asked a number of questions that cause reflection (fixed questions again). Sometimes, the fellow course participants can supplement with other reflections and comments based on what they prepared in the first phase. Note that it is important to keep control of this process to prevent the author from becoming too overwhelmed to receive feedback. Thus it is up to the author to say yes or no to receiving feedback, and the focus should also be on motivating the author. The activity is framed by a feedback guide, which the course participants have contributed to developing.

Experiences and assessment
It is important to have an open dialogue and reflections during the plenum. The author who receives feedback should receive support with good suggestions but not specific solutions. It is crucial that the author also has the opportunity to reflect. The atmosphere should feel safe and motivate the author to continue the work on the article and improve it.

The course participants have been very keen on this feedback activity, and it is now a regular course activity.

Evaluation: in which contexts will you recommend this feedback activity?

Suitable for classes of: 6-8 people in each group – it should feel confidential
Suitable for level: All levels of assignment writing
Suitable for offline, online or both: Offline
Other possible actors: Yes
Is the activity part of an assessment method? No
Is the activity part of the curriculum? No as it is a voluntary course without a curriculum. However the feedback activity is included in the course description

Thomsen,T.G., Hølge-Hazelton, B. (2014): Developing evidence-based practice: documenting a tailored writing course for healthcare practitioners, Nordic Journal of Nursing Research June 2014 vol. 34 no. 2 33-37

Wilson V. et al. (2008): Developing healthcare practice through action learning: individual and group journeys. Action Learning: Research and practice, pp. 21-38

Hounsell, D., McCune, V., Hounsell J. and Litjens, J. (2008): The quality of guidance and feedback to students, Higher Education Research and Development, 27 (1) pp. 55-67

For more information about VUF please contact:

Centre for Teaching and Learning - Inger-Marie F. Christensen - or Rie Troelsen -

For more information about this feedback activity please contact:: 
Thora Grothe Thomsen -