From in the Class or in the Wild? Peers Provide Better Design Feedback Than External Crowds

Helen Wauck, Yu Chun Grace Yen, Wai-Tat Fu, Elizabeth M Gerber, Stephen P. Dow, Brian P. Bailey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

18 Scopus citations


As demand for design education increases, instructors are struggling to provide timely, personalized feedback for student projects. Gathering feedback from classroom peers and external crowds offer scalable approaches, but there is little evidence of how they compare. We report on a study in which students (n=127) created early- and late-stage prototypes as part of nine-week projects. At each stage, students received feedback from peers and external crowds: their own social networks, online communities, and a task market. We measured the quality, quantity and valence of the feedback and the actions taken on it, and categorized its content using a taxonomy of critique discourse. The study found that peers produced feedback that was of higher perceived quality, acted upon more, and longer compared to the crowds. However, crowd feedback was found to be a viable supplement to peer feedback and students preferred it for projects targeting specialized audiences. Feedback from all sources spanned only a subset of the critique categories. Instructors may fill this gap by further scaffolding feedback generation. The study contributes insights for how to best utilize different feedback sources in project-based courses.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)978-1450346559
StatePublished - 2017


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