How to Provide Feedback on Work Placement (Activities)?

The goal of feedback is to stimulate students to take control over their learning process, and to critically reflect upon their performance. Providing feedback on a work placement (activity) takes the form of a dialogue between the student and the work placement supervisor and/or work placement mentor. Feedback can be organized intermediately or after the assessment. 

General Points to Consider  

  • In order for a feedback session to run smoothly, it is important to start the conversation by:
    • setting the initial objectives of the session;
    • deciding on the discussion topics;
    • setting a time schedule.
  • Start the session on a positive note and emphasize in what ways the student has performed well. Afterwards, point out in what ways the student has underperformed. In order to avoid misunderstandings, it is important to be specific. Following this negative feedback, point out some areas for improvement and discuss with the student how they can reach these objectives. 
  • Throughout the feedback session, be sure to frequently refer back to the learning outcomes that have to be attained. 
  • At the end of the session, check whether the initial objectives have been met and whether all topics were discussed. Summarize the key points of the session, or ask the student to do so.

Peer Feedback

Students can also provide feedback to one another: peer feedback, either on the basis of a (n intermediate) written report, or after a work placement observation. Students do not mind giving feedback to one another, but dislike grading each other, so this should be avoided. 


Peer feedback has a number of pros and cons: 

The pros are that students: 

  • can consult other products to get a broader view on possible executions of the assignment;
  • can further develop their communication skills while giving and receiving feedback; 
  • can learn from work placement experiences of other students. 


The cons are, among other things, that students: 

  • are not always critical towards their fellow students; 
  • can be afraid of giving feedback;
  • do not exactly know how to give feedback. This can be solved by telling your students how to give feedback. 


Therefore, it is important to properly prepare peer feedback: 

  • decide on the deadline for uploading the product to the electronic learning environment, and on a suitable moment for observation; 
  • decide on the deadline for giving feedback on another student’s work; 
  • clearly announce who will give feedback to whom; 
  • show a ‘good’ example of a product and its peer feedback. 
  • list clear (assessment) criteria for the students. For example: ‘The students reflect on their own actions, thus indicating what goes well, describing two encountered problems and indicating areas for improvement.’, ‘The student contextualizes the work placement.’ Or ‘The student clearly describes the collaboration with the work placement supervisor at the host organisation.’
  • give clear instructions about the peer feedback's form and content. 

UGent Practices

Last modified April 1, 2021, 1:23 p.m.