Apprenticeship toolkit

Peer and expert feedback

Giving feedback to peers (peer review) can encourage a more thoughtful and critical approach to your own performance and achievement. Obtaining the opinion of experts on your work is another powerful way of ensuring feedback leads to progress.

Apprentices preparing to enter industries in which peer review is the norm need experience in giving as well as receiving feedback. Social media, cloud-based platforms and video hosting services such as YouTube provide good opportunities for peer and expert review.

It is important first to educate apprentices about their digital footprint and for trainers to participate alongside apprentices in a closed group to establish a supportive learning community.

What inspectors say

The 2014 Ofsted report Teaching, learning and assessment in further education and skills - what works and why? cites peer assessment as something that supports learners to become more reflective about their learning, achieve greater autonomy in their learning and develop valuable employability skills.

Here are some examples of the ways in which digital technologies are being used to facilitate peer and expert feedback:

City of Plymouth College plumbing apprentices use Facebook groups for peer learning.

At Leeds City College, social media is used in level 3 theatrical, special effects, hair and media make-up. Photographs of work in progress are uploaded for the group to analyse and critique.

All level 3 creative media production learners at Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT) are given accounts for social media and blogging tools to publish their own targets and discuss, share and critically evaluate their own and others’ work from the start of the programme. Tweets of links to completed production work attract comments from industry professionals as well.

Activate Learning at Reading College has found that sharing ideas and receiving feedback from the wider community, via cloud-based Google Hangouts and Google Plus, increases quality.