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Queen Mary Academy

Designing a Peer Feedback Task in Dentistry

Three law students in discussion in a seminar room
Amitha Ranauta profile picture

Dr Amitha Ranauta

Clinical Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Dental Education

Peer feedback helps students to identify their strengths and weaknesses, and helps to develop independent learning. It plays an important part in developing feedback literacy, which is a key professional skill in Dentistry.

Responding to a need

Dr Amitha Ranauta and Dr Huda Yusuf from the Institute of Dentistry reached out to Olumide Popoola to help organise and structure a peer feedback task for an Oral Health Year 2 module.

This task was designed as a formative assessment which enabled students to experience giving and receiving feedback from their peers. This was intended to help students to learn how to give feedback and increase their awareness of how markers think when assessing students’ work, enabling them to make improvements in future assignments.

I was able to learn another way to approach the question instead of just my way of approaching it

The task

The peer feedback task involved students being put into groups and marking each other’s answers to questions using the marking criteria. The criteria used in this task involved students evaluating whether an answer was comprehensive, structured, and if it had evidence to support the points made, alongside other criteria.

Evidencing impact

88/93 students took part in the peer feedback task and of those 88, 21 students completed a survey of their experiences of the peer feedback process. Of those 21 students, 11 agreed to take part in focus groups.
Results from the survey found that 62% of respondents found the peer review and feedback activity useful and 57% found the approach improved their quality of writing.

Key focus group findings were that students enjoyed giving feedback rather than receiving it and that many students have never seen a marking rubric during their time on the degree.

Students mentioned that they found that positive feedback is good when it related to prior negative feedback.

This is an important finding that can be considered when educators are marking students’ work.


Based on our experiences and feedback received, the team recommend that staff planning to implement a similar approach should consider:

  • Making the peer feedback task anonymous will allow for students to feel more comfortable in giving feedback to their peers
  • Using a minimum word count for feedback allows for better quality feedback for all students
  • Using a ‘workshop’ on QMplus would make the process of peer feedback smoother
  • Collaborating with learning technologists

Dr Amitha Ranauta

Clinical Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Dental Education


Dr Huda Yusuf

Clinical Senior Lecturer in Dental Public Health


Olumide Popoola

Education and Recognition Adviser

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