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The use of a guided peer review assessment for investigative interviewers of child witnesses
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2021, 00:00 authored by Sonja Brubacher, M B Powell, L C Steele, David BoudDavid Boud
Investigative interviewers assess their colleagues' interviews (‘peer review’) as a necessary part of their practice, and for their self-development. Yet, there is little guidance around what the process involves and how they might do it. Research suggests that effective peer review is supported by using guidance material. The goal of the present work was to describe the use of such a guide by a group of professionals who regularly conduct investigative interviews with children, to share what was learned with other professionals seeking to create a formalized peer review process.
Sixty US child witness interviewers completed a guided peer review assessment of an anonymous interview, as an assignment at the conclusion of an 18-hour training program that focused on developing their interviewing skills. They consented to the use of their learning data in research, and the research was approved by the university's research ethics board. Peer reviews were coded for the extent to which they used the guide to support their evaluations, and the overall quality of the review to assess the utility of the guide in supporting them to conduct effective assessments.
In general, the guide and instructions for providing feedback were moderately effective in supporting the peer assessments, but results suggested specific training in how to deliver peer review would be useful.
Through this process, the authors identified components that would be helpful to further increase the efficacy of peer review.
The aim of this work was to spark a greater conversation among practitioners and academics about professionalizing the peer review process and aiding interviewers to develop peer review tools that would support their continued growth. The authors conclude with five key tips for professionals that stem from the experiences creating and evaluating the guide in combination with existing literature and three areas for future investigation.