Example 2

Actors: Self-assessment (peer assessment and lecturer)
Type: Project work

Ib Christensen,
Associate professor
Mads Clausen Institute
Faculty of Engineering, SDU

The feedback activity in brief
Engineering students provide self-assessment in a 10-page report on their input, learning and experiences in an interdisciplinary project. The purpose is for them to learn more about themselves and be prepared for real life situations. Furthermore, they should reflect on their own learning and ability to cooperate with others.

All 5th semester engineering students at the University of Southern Denmark in Sønderborg (four bachelor study programmes and bachelor of engineering) participate in the course “Expert in teams”. In this course the students learn to show their expertise, cooperate in interdisciplinary teams, and deal with different interests and needs. Generally, the classes have 50-70 students, which will be divided into teams of 15-25 students.

Each team has to solve a challenge or a case from ‘the real world’, and they have to document that their solution can be applied and work in reality. They have to hand in the product (the project) and a 10-page report.

The actual activity and its extent
The students must reflect on their own learning via the 10-page report that they have to hand in. The report should explain the students’ academic contribution to the teams, their own input for the project and the knowledge and experiences they gained during their work on the project. This way they are providing themselves with feedback, and the report will also be used for assessment in a final oral exam.

The students also took a personality test, which they used as a tool to assess themselves and their teamwork. There is also free discussion at the actual exam, where the students receive peer feedback and feedback from the teacher. In relation to this the personality test is also used to explain why the teamwork and the project went as it did.

It is important to have rooms where all the students can work in their teams. Besides, the engineering study programmes have workshops or labs that can be used for the project work. The teacher has the role as supervisor through out the course of the project work. It is a time-consuming task to read all the individual reports, acquaint oneself with each project, and the actual exam often lasts for 4 whole days. 

Experiences and assessment
This is a complex, yet thoroughly tested assessment- and feedback activity. It is a time-consuming task for the teacher to acquaint himself with the projects, and it requires a lot of engagement and time to provide the students with feedback. If the students do not provide each other with constructive feedback the teamwork can be at risk. Consequently, the teacher must make sure that the students have a clear framework for giving good feedback.

The students are very positive about this activity. Later on many of them report that it has been very useful for them in their practical training and even after they finish their education and start to work in companies. This can be linked to the fact that this feedback activity facilitates insight into “real life” situations.

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

Suitable for classes of:  Large classes, but they need to be divided into teams
Suitable for level:  From 5th semester and later. They need experience in project work
Suitable for offline, online or both:  Offline. The teamwork is important as well as the final face-to-face exam
Other possible actors:  Peer and lecturer feedback, as well as automatic feedback
Is the activity part of an assessment method? Yes. The grade depends on how well they have done the self-assessment
Is the activity part of the curriculum? Yes. Curriculum 
Applicable for other disciplines? Yes, it will be possible to apply this activity to other disciplines
References:  The activity is based on personal experiences

For more information about VUF please contact:

SDU Centre for Teaching and Learning - Rie Troelsen -

For more information about this feedback activity please contact: 
Ib Christensen,