The Experience of Receiving and Giving Public Oral and Written Peer Feedback on the Teaching Experience of Preservice Teachers

Gila Cohen Zilka
InSITE 2020  •  2020  •  pp. 001-013

This study examined how peer feedback, received and given face-to-face and on the course site, shapes the teacher’s image, from the student’s point of view as the one providing and receiving feedback.

This study examined the effect of receiving and giving peer feedback, face-to-face and on the course site, on forming the teacher’s image, from the student’s point of view as someone who provides and receives feedback.

The research question was, “How do preservice teachers experience giving and receiving public, oral and written, peer feedback on the teaching experience?” This is a qualitative study. Two hundred fifty-seven preservice teachers educated in teacher training institutions in Israel participated in the study.

The study attempted to fill the missing pieces in the experience of providing and receiving peer feedback in the process of training for a teaching certificate. The topic of feedback has been extensively researched, but mostly from the point of view of experts providing feedback to the student, whereas this study examined peer feedback. In addition, many studies have examined the topic of feedback mainly from the point of view of the recipient. By contrast, in this study, all the students both gave and received feedback, and the topic was examined from the perspective of both the feedback recipient and the feedback provider. It was found that receiving feedback and providing feedback are affected by the same emotional and behavioral influences, at the visible, concealed, and hidden levels.

It was found that in oral feedback given by students face-to-face they took into account the feelings of the recipient of the feedback, more so than when feedback was given in writing on the course site. It was found also that most students considered it easier to provide feedback in writing than orally, for two reasons: first, it allowed them to edit and focus their feedback, and second, because of the physical distance from the student to whom the feedback applied. About 45% noted that the feedback they provided to others reflected their own feelings and difficulties. It was found that both giving and receiving feedback was influenced by the same emotional and behavioral layers: visible, concealed, and hidden.

When an expert gives feedback, the expert has more experience than the students and wants to share this experience with others. This is not the case with peer feedback, where everybody is in the process of training, and the feedback is not necessarily expert. Therefore, clarification and discussion of feedback are of great importance for the development of both feedback provider and recipient.

About 45% of preservice teachers noticed that the feedback they provided to others stemmed from their own internal issues, and therefore dialogic feedback stimulated a sense of learning, empowerment, and professional development. Dialogic feedback may clarify for both provider and recipient what their habits, needs, and difficulties are and advance them in their professional development.

People must ask themselves whether they are in a position of conducting a dialogue or in a position of resistance to what is happening in the lesson. A sense of resistance to what is happening in the lesson may cause one to feel attacked and in need of defending oneself, and therefore to criticize. It is difficult to establish fruitful and enriching dialogue in a state of resistance, and with the desire to defend oneself and go on attack.

Knowledge of virtual feedback needs to be deepened. Does the feedback stem from the desire to advance the student who taught the lesson? Does the feedback stem from anger? etc.

preservice teachers, written feedback, oral feedback, peer feedback, social emotional learning (SEL), public feedback, virtual feedback
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