Types of feedback activities

Example 6

Actors: Peer assessment
Type: Portfolio, solving assignments

Nina Bonderup Dohn,
Associate professor
Department of Design and Communication
Faculty of Humanities, SDU
Jens Jørgen Hansen,
Associate professor
Department of Design and Communication
Faculty of Humanities, SDU

The feedback activity in brief
The students provided each other with peer feedback on portfolio assignments with oral presentations based on a number of fixed questions. The purpose of the portfolio was to document and visualize the output of their learning process as well as reflections on the teaching and their own learning.

The feedback activity was employed in the master programme MSc in Information Technology (IT, communication and organisation) at the Faculty of Humanities. It has been employed in small groups of 3-4 students. The students had to complete a portfolio assignment (4-5 hours) and prepare two responses (1 hour). The teacher created the portfolio assignment and the assignment questions (1 hour).

The actual activity and its extent
The students were given an analysis and discussion assignment with the following question: Which competency development programme is appropriate for which type of organisation? The students were to base their assignments on Minzberg’s categorisation of types of organisation. The students also had to assess which of the 2-4 competency development programmes illustrated by Illeris et al (2003) in chapters 6-8 would have the biggest opportunity of success. ‘Success’ understood as the competency development programme being realized in a given organisation in a way that gives the employees the opportunity to develop the intended competences. The students could include cases, e.g. from their workplace.

The students chose two assignments from their fellow students, which they gave feedback on with a short oral presentation. The feedback was based on the following questions:

  1. Does the portfolio assignment argue for the chosen development programme?
  2. Do you agree with the suggested development activities?
  3. Can you point out other arguments for the reasoning behind the choice of development programme?
  4. Do you feel that you have argued reasonably in your own assignment or should additional/different arguments be put forward?

One lesson was used per 3-4 students and the discussion forum on e-learn.sdu.dk (SDU’s e-learning platform) was used for collecting portfolio contributions.

Experiences and assessment 
When students are providing each other with feedback it is important to point out focus points in order to enhance their understanding of what is most important in the assessment. Specific focus points also make it easier for students to overcome the resistance they feel about saying something less positive to their fellow students. It is important to clearly explain to the students how to give feedback in order to minimize any uncertainty about the new feedback activity.

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

Suitable for classes of: Most suitable for small classes due to oral feedback
Suitable for level: Bachelor and master level
Suitable for offline, online or both: Both
Other possible actors: Maybe 
Is the activity part of an assessment method?


Is the activity part of the curriculum? No


For more information about VUF please contact: 
SDU Centre for Teaching and Learning - Rie Troelsen - riet@sdu.dk

For more information about this feedback activity please contact: 
Nina Bonderup Dohn - nina@sdu.dk
Jens Jørgen Hansen - jjh@sdu.dk