The Alternative Crit: peer feedback in art and design

Rachel Dickson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


ABSTRACT : GLAD Conference 2015The Alternative Crit: peer feedback within art & designA pilot project involving final year students within BA Hons Contemporary Applied Arts, Belfast School of ArtPaperDickson, R. AbstractThis paper will explore the implementation of a pilot peer feedback project within BA Hons Contemporary Applied Arts (ceramics, jewellery and silversmithing), with specific relation to Final Year students. The design, implementation, attitudes and responses of students frame the context of the introduction of a more formalised approach to peer feedback within the art and design learning and teaching environment. Student consultation and input will be addressed.There is a range of evidence of the benefits of providing students with the opportunity to give feedback to, and receive it from, their peers. Peer feedback can demystify assessment strategies, develop skills in self-driven improvement in the quality and depth of work produced, and recognising high quality outcomes in the subject area (Sadler, 1989). The involvement in, and the participation in developing a peer feedback session can also enable students to ‘take an active role in the management of their own learning’ (Liu and Carless, 2006).The QAA has stated that encouraging students to reflect on their own performance as well as receiving feedback from their peers is worthwhile, and even more so "when opportunities for self-assessment are integrated in a module or programme" (QAA, 2006).The process of formalised peer feedback should work more successfully when responsibility is equally shared, where each student both gives and receives feedback, where the feedback occurs on a ‘real’ project, and where ground rules have been explained to students including explanations and value of constructive and formative feedback.Within art and design, various teaching methods are utilised, including lectures, seminars, individual and group tutorials and critiques. Students will have the opportunity to receive a range of feedback in many forms. As teaching is usually studio-based, many discussions are informal both between staff and student and student to student. This has many positive aspects, including continual informal, formative feedback. However, when students are required to provide feedback to their peers within a ‘crit’, often there is a lack of confidence in providing constructive criticism to their friends. The pilot peer feedback project aimed to overcome this tentative response through formalising the process and introducing an element of confidentiality.Peer feedback can take many different forms (Hounsell, 2008), through students commenting on a tutor’s written feedback, they can provide criteria on which a piece of work is assessed, or they can comment/ give feedback on work which accompanies a tutor’s written feedback.Peer feedback can take another form, which was employed in the pilot. Students are asked to assess and give written feedback to another student, on a piece of artwork and oral presentation. Module Feedback Forms are chosen at random, and the assessor remains confidential. This allows for honest, constructive and more rounded feedback. Each student will both give and receive feedback, and as a consequence, will have a richer understanding of the assessment process and its requirements.In consultation with students, the process was implemented and through feedback from students, further sessions were requested. It is extremely encouraging to see that students responded positively to peer feedback and recognised its value to their learning and development, and the benefit of alternative forms of feedback.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
PublisherGroup for Learning in Art and Design Higher Education
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 27 Feb 2015
EventGLAD conference - Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield
Duration: 27 Feb 2015 → …


ConferenceGLAD conference
Period27/02/15 → …


  • peer feedback
  • art and design
  • pedagogy
  • crit


Dive into the research topics of 'The Alternative Crit: peer feedback in art and design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this