Jisc Digital Festival 2014
Promoting feedback dialogue using technology:
why, how and lessons learned
Rola Ajjawi
Universi...
Jisc Digital Festival 2014
Session objectives
• Discuss the value of feedback dialogue to student learning
and the student...
Jisc Digital Festival 2014
Two case study projects
Jisc Assessment and Feedback programme
(part of the e-learning programm...
Jisc Digital Festival 2014
Activity 1
Discuss in your small groups:
What is feedback dialogue?
Why bother?
Jisc Digital Festival 2014
Summary of the problems associated with monologic feedback
 Lack of learner engagement with fe...
Jisc Digital Festival 2014
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5bBFEbXDD0
Jisc Digital Festival 2014
About InterACT
Jisc Digital Festival 2014
What’s the evidence for the value of feedback dialogue?
InterACT Project
• A longitudinal persp...
Jisc Digital Festival 2014
What’s the evidence for the value of feedback dialogue?
InterACT quotes
• “[interACT] did force...
Jisc Digital Festival 2014
What’s the evidence for the value of feedback dialogue?
MAC Evaluation:
– MAC processes help to...
Jisc Digital Festival 2014
What’s the evidence for the value of feedback dialogue?
MAC quotes……
• “I think the most benefi...
Jisc Digital Festival 2014
About MAC
MAC emphasises assessment for learning with a major focus on
students reflecting on a...
Jisc Digital Festival 2014
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPzyksXuN5
M&feature=em-upload_owner
Jisc Digital Festival 2014
About MAC
Approach Characteristics
MAC Self
Review
Student completes online questionnaire/surve...
Jisc Digital Festival 2014
Key themes, issues and lessons learned
1. Reconceptualisation of feedback
2. Staff and learner ...
Jisc Digital Festival 2014
1. Reconceptualisation of feedback
• Need to move from one-off ,
episodic–based feedback to
lon...
Jisc Digital Festival 2014
2. Staff and learner workloads
Lessons learned Issues to overcome
• Requires investment of time...
Jisc Digital Festival 2014
3. Technology as an enabler
Lessons learned Issues to overcome
• Technology, as an information
...
Jisc Digital Festival 2014
4. Moving from (funded) pilots to mainstreaming
Lessons learned Issues to overcome
• There is n...
Jisc Digital Festival 2014
Promoting feedback dialogue using technology:
why, how and lessons learned
Rola Ajjawi
Universi...
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Promoting feedback dialogue using technology - Rola Ajjawi, Gunter Saunders and Peter Chatterton - Jisc Digital Festival 2014

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Simply providing feedback does not ensure that students have read it, understood it or engaged and learned from it. This is one of the reasons that feedback dialogue is gaining recognition as an important principle of effective feedback 1 and assessment for learning 2. In this workshop participants will: 1) discuss the value of feedback dialogue to student learning and the student experience and 2) compare and contrast two Jisc funded projects aiming to promote feedback dialogue.

Case study 1
Interactive Assessment and Collaboration via Technology (interACT): involved the redesign of feedback practices across an online distance learning postgraduate programme in medical education using cover pages and dialogue wikis to promote self-evaluation and student-tutor dialogue.

Case study 2
Making Assessment Count (MAC) has developed a flexible process centred around online self-review questionnaires that students can use to either think about an assignment they are about to address or reflect on an assignment they have completed and received feedback on.

We discuss the two approaches to promoting feedback dialogue including: why, how, evidence and lessons learned.

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Promoting feedback dialogue using technology - Rola Ajjawi, Gunter Saunders and Peter Chatterton - Jisc Digital Festival 2014

  1. 1. Jisc Digital Festival 2014 Promoting feedback dialogue using technology: why, how and lessons learned Rola Ajjawi University of Dundee Gunter Saunders University of Westminster Peter Chatterton Daedalus e-World Ltd r.ajjawi@dundee.ac.uk g.saunders@westminster.ac.uk peter.chatterton@daedalus-e-world.com
  2. 2. Jisc Digital Festival 2014 Session objectives • Discuss the value of feedback dialogue to student learning and the student experience • Compare and contrast two Jisc-funded projects aiming to promote feedback dialogue
  3. 3. Jisc Digital Festival 2014 Two case study projects Jisc Assessment and Feedback programme (part of the e-learning programme) http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearning/assessmentandfeedback.aspx • University of Dundee – Interactive Assessment and Collaboration via Technology (InterACT) http://blog.dundee.ac.uk/interact/ – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5bBFEbXDD0 • University of Westminster – Making Assessment Count (MAC) – http://www.makingassessmentcount.ac.uk
  4. 4. Jisc Digital Festival 2014 Activity 1 Discuss in your small groups: What is feedback dialogue? Why bother?
  5. 5. Jisc Digital Festival 2014 Summary of the problems associated with monologic feedback  Lack of learner engagement with feedback  Lack of understanding of feedback  Transmitted feedback creates dependency on teacher  No evidence of feed forward  Not utilising self- and peer- feedback  Lack of a shared context for assessment for teacher and learner  High teacher effort— low efficiency  Reduced staff satisfaction as developmental potential of feedback not seen
  6. 6. Jisc Digital Festival 2014 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5bBFEbXDD0
  7. 7. Jisc Digital Festival 2014 About InterACT
  8. 8. Jisc Digital Festival 2014 What’s the evidence for the value of feedback dialogue? InterACT Project • A longitudinal perspective on student development could be fostered that is tailored to the individual learner • The majority of our students and staff agreed that interACT promoted feedback dialogue (there was evidence of student-tutor dialogue within and across modules) • Students valued the structured nature of the feedback that aligned with assessment criteria. The process engaged them in self- reflection and evaluation of performance • The cover page encouraged seeking of feedback and prompted feedforward • Students valued the dialogue with students and satisfaction at seeing their feedback being used by students in their learning • The process increased time investment for students and staff but this was offset by reductions in the number of assignments across the programme
  9. 9. Jisc Digital Festival 2014 What’s the evidence for the value of feedback dialogue? InterACT quotes • “[interACT] did force my reflective process in the end to have one last look without changing anything on my self-evaluation, it is not something that I think I would have naturally done, I think I would have just said, Ok, I have worked this as much as I can possibly do right now, I will just hand it over.” Interview Student 3 • “I have been able to engage in more of a dialogue with whoever has graded it, which has allowed a little more personality exchange and a little more support, when you feel that there is someone at the other end actually looking at what you are working so hard at and treating you as a person.” Interview Student 4 • “[Before interACT dialogue] was just not a built in thing, so I think if you were rushed or timid or maybe even insecure about the work that you were doing, it would have been a little more intimidating [to email the tutor] … I like this better, as there is an element of expectation that there will be some dialogue.” Interview student 3 • “It’s certainly improved my feedback in terms of definitely quantity and hopefully quality as well so I’m giving more information now because I’m being constantly prompted.” Interview Tutor 3
  10. 10. Jisc Digital Festival 2014 What’s the evidence for the value of feedback dialogue? MAC Evaluation: – MAC processes help to improve student performance and satisfaction as follows: • Develops expectations and understanding of the demands of an HE education; • Develops skills & good practice required for study in HE; • Promotes engagement & collaboration between tutors and peers in reviewing and acting on feedback; • Develops reflective and autonomous approaches to learning and use of feedback; • Creates and/or strengthens personal development planning/personal tutorials to ensure an equitable experience for all students. …..based on evidence derived from student testimony gathered through focus groups and questionnaires from four institutions – Four taxonomies of MAC usage have been mapped to accepted best practice principles of assessment, feedback and personal development planning showing that they all lead to pedagogically sound approaches aligned with “assessment for learning” principles.
  11. 11. Jisc Digital Festival 2014 What’s the evidence for the value of feedback dialogue? MAC quotes…… • “I think the most beneficial aspects of this process is that not only can you get feedback from your tutor but also from peers to see what they think of your work, and how it can be improved”. • “My Personal Tutor was most useful for me because we just went through everything that I had a question on and I was given an answer so I found that the most helpful feedback – the one-on-one interaction and actually speaking to someone. • “I found the peer assessment beneficial. It was a new approach where the strengths and weaknesses of my plan were explored, accompanied by constructive comments that gave me confidence in my essay writing capabilities but also points for consideration to help me improve my essay further.
  12. 12. Jisc Digital Festival 2014 About MAC MAC emphasises assessment for learning with a major focus on students reflecting on assignments and acting on feedback.
  13. 13. Jisc Digital Festival 2014 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPzyksXuN5 M&feature=em-upload_owner
  14. 14. Jisc Digital Festival 2014 About MAC Approach Characteristics MAC Self Review Student completes online questionnaire/survey in e-Reflect system. System processes responses to generate feedback report customised to student responses. Student left to independently utilise the output. MAC Engage As above but student additionally writes a reflective passage in light of the feedback report and shares this with tutor for input, comment online. MAC PDP As above but tutor and student hold a specific meeting (face to face or online) in order to place the feedback + engagement in the wider context to the student’s course and personal development. A specific output is a personal plan for going forward (some institutions focus on “feed- forward”). MAC Peer Review As above, and includes peer feedback/review as well as staged formative feedback. MAC: four broad taxonomies of use:
  15. 15. Jisc Digital Festival 2014 Key themes, issues and lessons learned 1. Reconceptualisation of feedback 2. Staff and learner workloads 3. Technology as an enabler 4. Moving from (funded) pilots to main-streaming
  16. 16. Jisc Digital Festival 2014 1. Reconceptualisation of feedback • Need to move from one-off , episodic–based feedback to longitudinal approaches to feedback, dialogue and action on feedback. • Need to consider overall curriculum structure and sequencing of assignments plus importance of formative tasks and peer feedback. • Need to consider changing the landscape of teaching …..moving away from didactic teaching towards an assessment for learning agenda. Lessons learned Issues to overcome • Modular structures can inhibit longitudinal approaches. • Reconceptualising feedback may require re-thinking overall curriculum design or at least assessment. • Quality and parity of experience around feedback & feedback dialogue needs to be addressed. • Assessment for learning agendas place greater responsibilities on students. • Students and staff need to engage in thinking about the purpose of feedback (student education & fac dev essential).
  17. 17. Jisc Digital Festival 2014 2. Staff and learner workloads Lessons learned Issues to overcome • Requires investment of time from staff which has to be mostly offset through economies in other ways (e.g. reducing overall number of assessment tasks). • Staff and student workloads around A&F need to be rationalised e.g. to avoid bunching. • Better to engender habits of reflection & dialogue in students early-on as part of induction into HE study. • Staff and students valued feedback dialogue despite the time commitment. • Staff have high work-loads, particularly at end-of module marking periods. • Staff have no space left in their timetable. • Staff and students do not necessarily perceive that investment in feedback dialogue will improve student performance and satisfaction.
  18. 18. Jisc Digital Festival 2014 3. Technology as an enabler Lessons learned Issues to overcome • Technology, as an information management /communications system, is crucial to support A&F, dialogue and longitudinal approaches. • Technologies can introduce efficiencies and stimulate dialogue. • Institutional infrastructures have not kept up with the need to underpin “assessment for learning” approaches. • The need for “information management” highlights problems in terms of infrastructure e.g. standards, which systems to use and systems integration. • Assessment for learning/student centred approaches raise issues of which technologies are most appropriate to underpin learning (e.g. VLE/e-portfolio?). • VLEs can offer constraints in terms of implementing longitudinal A&F approaches. • Do students or staff consider e- feedback/e-contact time as “real” contact time (e.g. wrt NSS feedback).
  19. 19. Jisc Digital Festival 2014 4. Moving from (funded) pilots to mainstreaming Lessons learned Issues to overcome • There is no clear evidence of successful wide-spread institutional mainstreaming of re-conceptualised approaches to A&F. • It is possible to view the pilot approaches as key in preparing students for the demands of HE study and developing their assessment and feedback “literacy”. • Staff/student satisfaction can be a strong motivator. • Pilot projects used their experiences to develop guidelines for mainstreaming. • There is a need to demonstrate benefits of new A&F approaches and to overcome staff resistance and student perceptions. • There is a need to integrate new A&F approaches into institutional strategies, plans and processes. • There is a need to integrate new A&F approaches into support services. • There is a need to influence and engage key stakeholders. • There is a need to address technology infrastructure as this can inhibit main- streaming.
  20. 20. Jisc Digital Festival 2014 Promoting feedback dialogue using technology: why, how and lessons learned Rola Ajjawi University of Dundee @r_ajjawi Gunter Saunders University of Westminster @saundeg Peter Chatterton Daedalus e-World Ltd @balham r.ajjawi@dundee.ac.uk g.saunders@westminster.ac.uk peter.chatterton@daedalus-e-world.com

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