3 Reasons for Peer-to-Peer Evaluation – a Simple, Overlooked Resource for Skill Improvement

So, in my speech class, I ask two students to evaluate each student speaker. Some really good evaluators/coaches have surfaced through this process.

One of them showed a fellow student how to stand up straighter, thus enabling better voice projection and leaving the impression of greater self-confidence. This student evaluator was in the military, and his military training was of genuine value to his fellow student.

Another student was in high school debate competitions. She makes specific observations, like: move, but “stick your landing” (her term) when you arrive at your next spot for audience contact/engagement.

These pieces of coaching advice were and are really valuable. But even more valuable is this: to ask a student to evaluate a fellow student.

Some obvious observations:

#1 – Constant tweaking, with correcting and coaching observations, is so very valuable.
#2 – Other observers see things you may not see; including and especially peers. Many eyes make for better improvements.
#3 – The more specific the feedback/coaching, the more valuable it is.

So, what in your work life could be identified, and thus improved, by the simple observations and recommendations of a peer evaluator? Who can you ask to do that for you? And (though, this is more delicate), how could you provide such evaluating/coaching feedback for one of your peers?

Remember the why: we don’t get better without targeted work at skill improvement, do we?


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