The Alternative Crit: peer feedback in art and design

Rachel Dickson

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ABSTRACT : EFYE [European First Year Experience] Conference, Bergen, Norway 15-17 June 2015The Alternative Crit: peer feedback within art & designA peer feedback project developed within BA Hons Contemporary Applied Arts, 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. A range of evidence exists 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. Students were asked to assess and give written feedback to another student [at random], on a piece of artwork. This allowed for honest, constructive feedback. Each student gives and receives feedback, and as a consequence, evidenced a richer understanding of the assessment process and its requirements.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
PublisherEuropean First Year Experience Conference
Number of pages2
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 Feb 2015
EventEFYE [European First Year Experience] Conference - University of Bergen, Norway
Duration: 18 Feb 2015 → …


ConferenceEFYE [European First Year Experience] Conference
Period18/02/15 → …


  • peer feedback
  • art and design
  • pedagogy
  • crit


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