Critiquing is an approach that encourages students to consider their own work by drawing comparisons with the work of their peers. Traditionally, students will submit their work to be critiqued by fellow students and perform their own critique on the work of one or more peers. Through this process the students get feedback on their work from their fellow students and, through the consideration of others’ work, are stimulated to reflect on their own work and think about it in new ways.
An alternative to peer critiquing could be group or individual critiquing of a common artefact, such as a piece of writing by someone other than a member of the cohort. This may assist in ensuring that the critique is objective and thorough, as it removes the potential for a student to react defensively to criticism of their work.
Suggested Room Configurations
The ideal layout of the room will depend on the artefact(s) being critiqued and whether it is an individual or group activity. For many forms of critique, students working in small groups clustered together is an appropriate layout as it encourages participation from all of the members and, where appropriate, allows the artefact being critiqued to be freely passed around the group.
Potential Supporting Technology
Devices to record audio and video, such as smartphones and tablets, are extremely useful tools to support critique activities, especially for group critiques. By allowing the entire process to be captured and shared, it allows the full richness of the discussion to be recorded and so reduces the potential for specific statements to be taken out of context – something that is possible when a lengthy discussion is subsequently condensed into a summary. Recordings created by such devices can easily be shared online, and used to stimulate reflection by the student who’s work is being critiqued.
As many students typically find it difficult to provide constructive criticism of other people’s work, particularly where the other person may be a close friend, a structured form can help guide the students in creating their feedback and ensure that the