RISE Digital Poster

RISE Model for Peer Feedback by Emily Wray

I recently gave the following presentation in the Higher-Ed Digital Poster Session at the Apple Distinguished Educators' Academy. Speakers were given three short minutes to share an idea or an approach they use in the classroom.

Imagine if every time you clicked the Facebook like button you were prompted to justify your reaction with a “WHY” or a “BECAUSE…” - Many of us would just keep scrolling because that kind of public articulation can be risky. What if our well-meaning comment is misunderstood or comes across as offensive? Several years ago I realized this is how my students felt when asked to perform peer critiques.

To help guide my Media Communications students through the intimidating peer feedback process, I developed a tool called the RISE Model. The four tiers of this framework align with Bloom’s taxonomy and support students when building these constructive analyses.


The first, most basic, level of feedback is REFLECTION. Evaluative comments, such as “I LIKE...” are welcome here, but should be elaborated on with a “BECAUSE...” that's rooted in a concept or technique from the course.


The second level is INQUIRY. Here students are prompted to ask thought-provoking questions that might lead to a new perception or clarifying questions to develop a deeper understanding of the intent of the work.


The third level is SUGGEST, where students introduce ideas for improvement of the current iteration of a project. These are specific considerations to help fulfill any stated requirements in the assignment description.


The last level is ELEVATE, which is where students are asked to imagine the potential of the project beyond the confines of a rubric and share ideas for expansion into future iterations.

Years later and the RISE Model has been adopted university-wide at Full Sail and in countless other classrooms throughout the world. 

Here’s what’s working…

The Structure

Students appreciate the framework - it gives them something to build on. And rather than generic or canned language, the prompts give students several angles from which to consider their response.

The Permission

RISE helps alleviate the anxiety and fear of peer critiques. Students learn how to not make or take constructive feedback personally.

The Mentorship

RISE gives students an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of course content as they coach fellow students. In the process, relationships are strengthened through collaboration, rather than competition.

As we continue to immerse ourselves into this digital world, exploring the possibilities of and determining best practices for our connected classrooms, the RISE Model is a simple tool to help students have positive, productive conversations about their growth and development.

More information and implementation resources can be found at www.RISEMODEL.com.