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The University of Southampton
Digital Learning

Peer feedback for group projects

Graphic showing four students with different scores, but the average is identical to the overall project score
Peer feedback can be used to individualise scores for group projects

The Digital Learning team has worked with Dr Stefan Cantore on a first year module MANG1017 Business Skills. The large cohort of 200 students are split into around 50 teams to work on group projects. The aim is to develop their ability to work in teams, so an online system is used to provide them with formative feedback from their peers at two points during the project. After the work is submitted, the system is used a third time to generate a score which reflects the contribution that each group thinks its members made to the work. The score is used to adjust each individual's grade, rewarding exceptional effort and identifying poor performance.

The data gathered was carefully evaluated and combined with user surveys to determine the impact of the peer feedback system. We found that the adjustment to individual scores had little impact on the overall grade achieved, but clearly identified students who had made little or no contribution. The issue of 'freeloaders' is always of concern in group work and the system enabled the tutors to deal effectively with it. The results were presented at the ALT-C conference in 2016.

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