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Peer feedback using Discussion Board in Blackboard

Course: Teacher training programme for assistant professors Module 3 Arts. Study level: Assistant Professors at Arts. Size of class: Approx. 10

Short description

The course

Objectives and learning outcome for Module 3 of the teacher training programme for assistant professors are based on the vision and strategy for Educational IT at Arts. During the course participants must:

  • acquire knowledge of the use of digital tools in teaching
  • learn to discuss and assess selected technologies and their use in connection with concrete assignments
  • learn to include selected digital tool(s) in the re-design of their own course or part of the course.

Teacher's motivation

In order to balance study activities in the course and encourage the students to interact with each other on academic content, we introduce a number of activities with peer feedback. Part of the module takes place online, and we have therefore decided to use Discussion Board in Blackboard for this.

Description of the activity

At the beginning of the module, the participants attend a physical seminar and are briefed about the final assignment and the peer feedback activities associated with this. The peer feedback activities are divided into three parts and are linked to the participants’ work with three different parts of the final assignment: introduction, choice of digital tool and description of a course. A Collaboration Script has been prepared for each feedback activity, which is carried out using the tool Discussion Board in the course in Blackboard:

  • The teacher sets up a Discussion Board for each participant, including their name in the title.
  • Each participant regularly posts different texts in their own Discussion Board and gives feedback on other participants’ texts in their Discussion Boards.
  • The prepared Collaboration Script is used three times in the course, but on three different parts of the final assignment and with three different deadlines for the submission of texts and delivery of feedback on texts. See an example of a Collaboration Script in the right-hand column.

Students may have access to a feedback guide with assessment criteria during the activities. In the right-hand column you will find an example of how to prepare a feedback guide.

The final individual assignment must be submitted in a joint blog in Blackboard, which will enable all participants to access all the courses that have been developed. The teachers comment on the participants’ assignments. The participants receive these comments in an email.

Outcome of the activity

The regular activities with peer feedback support the participants’ work with their compulsory final assignments. The activities give the participants an opportunity to relate actively to the other participants’ work with the academic content. This means that they learn more than if they only concentrated on their own assignments. Research shows that when students keep updated on other students’ similar activities, this supports their own learning.

Worth considering

In future, we recommend working with one peer feedback round if the final product does not exceed 6000 characters including spaces. Alternatively, an extra feedback round may be run on the participants’ draft ideas for their assignments. This results in fewer submission and feedback deadlines and makes it easier for the participants to get an overall view of the activities in the course. If this concept is chosen for the students, it will be an advantage to make the feedback activity compulsory.


    Examples of practice

      Basic information

      • Faculty: Arts
      • Course: Teacher training programme for assistant professors Module 3
      • Study level: Assistant Professors at Arts
      • Course size: Approx. 10
      • Teaching method: Supervision
      • Extent: Activity
      • Primary type of activity: Practice
      • Applied technology: Blackboard (Now Brightspace)
      • How the case was conduted: Campus teaching with the use of digital tools for learning