An Investigationinto Formative A series of caseFeedback to studies from the University of SalfordEnhance StudentLearningFabrizio Gallai,Caroline Jones, December 13Udayangani KulatungaJohn McMahon 2011Fiona Velez-Colby
Investigation into Formative Feedback to Enhance Student Learning A series of case studies from the University of SalfordIntroductionIn 2009 the University of Salford adopted a strategic plan which commits the institution to the achievementof an upper quartile position in university league tables by 2017. Goal 1 in the strategic plan focuses onlearning and teaching; in particular, target 1.3 is to raise the recorded level in the National Student Survey(NSS) for teaching quality, assessment and feedback, and organisation and management. It is therefore clearthat assessment and feedback play a central role in the University’s new plan. This also mirrors what Biggsand Tang (2007: 97) state, i.e. “so important is formative feedback that the effectiveness of any particularteaching/learning activity can be judged by how well it provides feedback to students as they learn.”Following group discussion relating to specific feedback and assessment practices engaged by all groupmembers it was felt the area most relevant to all members would be the examination of formative feedbackas it is directly related to both the experiences and professional issues faced by the five group members (UKPSF AoA 3, 6). Each group member chose a particular aspect of formative feedback according to a studycarried out by the LTSN Generic Centre (now Higher Education Academy) on Student Enhanced Learningthrough Effective Feedback (SENLEF) to “develop a resource for practitioners wishing to improve theirfeedback practice to students or get some new ideas on how to enhance their current practice” (Juwah,Macfarlane-Dick, Matthew, Nicol, Ross & Smith 2004: 2).Seven principles for good effective practice were identified as a result of this project. These are listed below(Juwah, Macfarlane-Dick, Matthew, Nicol, Ross and Smith 2004: 2):1. Facilitates the development of self-assessment (reflection) in learning.2. Encourages teacher and peer dialogue around learning.3. Helps clarify what good performance is (goals, criteria, and expected standards).4. Provides opportunities to close the gap between current and desired performance.5. Delivers high quality information to students about their learning.6. Encourages positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem.7. Provides information to teachers that can be used to help shape the teaching.The range of subjects taught, teaching styles prior to the case studies and methods feedback methodsemployed by our action learning set are listed below. The diverse list clearly shows how the good feedback
practices identified for the purpose of this investigation can be employed across a wide range of subjectareas and learning environments throughout Higher Education (Stefani and Nicol 1997).• Sports Science - Strength and Conditioning Levels 5 & 6 - Method of delivery practical involving small group tasks (approx 20 per session put in groups of 4-5) focusing on weightlifting technique and coaching, including the students ability to give feedback (i.e. Proficiency in coaching) - Case study investigating Principle No 1.• Quantity Surveying Discipline Project Year 2 / Level 5 - Teaching style previous to case study was large group lecturing (approx 85 full-time and 50 part-time). Formative feedback methods were online test with immediate results, but no dialogue with lecturer - Case study investigating Principle No2.•Social Policy - Research Methods Level 4 - Method of delivery seminars of approx 25-30 students with 2 assignments within the module. Formative feedback about assignments is given during the seminars - Case study investigating Principle No 3.• Italian Language - Italian Written Language Level 4 - Method of delivery is typically seminars of approx 10-15 students with 1 formative mid semester feedback in verbal form, 1 written formative feedback and 1 summative feedback in written format - Case study investigating Principle No 6.•Design Management Year 3 / Level 6 - Method of delivery prior to the case study was small group lecturing (approx 8-10) using verbal formative feedback relating to the written assignment during individual tutorials. - Case study investigating Principle No 7.Each member of the group identified one of the7 principles of good feedback practice as identified in theStudent Enhanced Learning through Effective Feedback (SENLEF) project in 2004 (Juwah et al. 2004).Individually the group analysed one of the principles on good feedback practice by engaging with literaturespecifically focusing on one particular aspect of formative feedback, the results of each specific case studyfollow:
In-Class Peer Feedback and Self-Assessment (Reflection) John McMahon School of Health, Sport and Rehabilitation SciencesAim and objectivesAim: To encourage and facilitate in-class peer verbal feedback and self-assessment of learning in order toenhance student learning and achievement (UKPSF-AoA3)Objectives:• to introduce students to self-assessment of learning• to enhance student engagement with peer verbal feedback• to facilitate constant reflection of in-class performance• to encourage students to direct their own learning outcomesBackgroundOne of the seven principles of good feedback practice is that it should “Facilitate the development of self-assessment (reflection) in learning” (Juwah et al. 2004; Nicol and Macfarlane-Dick 2006). Self-assessment cansignificantly enhance both learning and achievement, when appropriately organised within the HigherEducation setting (Nicol and Macfarlane-Dick 2006). Research showed that students who were given self-assessment training over the course of the academic year significantly improved their performance duringend-of-year examinations (McDonald and Boud 2003). Integrating internal (student) and external (tutorand/or peer) feedback was found to be an extremely beneficial method of delivering self-assessmenttraining and one which was favoured by the participating students (Taras 2003).The general consensus among authors within self-assessment literature is that too much emphasis placed ontutor assessment (as is commonly associated with Higher Education) may decrease students’ ability to self-assess and self-correct, by increasing their reliance on others (Juwah et al. 2004). Therefore, self-assessmenttraining would provide students with the skills to effectively judge how their work relates to the identifiedstandards and criteria (Boud 1986). Furthermore, it has been suggested that if self-assessment training wasto be provided for the entire duration of an undergraduate programme, it would effectively preparestudents for lifelong learning (Boud 2000).
Self-assessment is considered to be an evolution towards a more inclusive democratic learning environment(Somervell 1993; Dearing 1997) as it promotes greater equality of power between teachers and students(Taras 2008), which has been shown to enhance student learning (Black and William 1998; Nicol andMacfarlane-Dick 2006). It is also postulated that self-assessment provides inclusivity among students fromany level and/or stage of the assessment process (Taras 2008). Finally, it has been theorised that competentand resourceful use of self-assessment is the only paradigm which enables students to develop essentialskills for professional practice (Boud 1995; Taras 2001).In order to develop students’ self-assessment skills, it has been suggested that teachers should provide themwith more structured opportunities for developing their capacity for self-monitoring and judging theirprogression towards pre-determined goals (Nicol and Macfarlane-Dick 2006). This can be achieved eitherthrough peer assessment and feedback (Boud et al. 1999; Gibbs 1999) and/or through the implementationof regular in-class self-reflection opportunities (Cowan 1999).EvaluationTo assess whether level six Sports Science students perceived in-class peer verbal feedback and self-assessment of learning to enhance their learning, a questionnaire (Appendix 1) was completed by them(UKPSF-CK5), following their final taught session of semester one. Table 1: Questionnaire answers expressed as a percentage Q Somewhat Quite a lot Very much 1 50 50 2 50 50 3 17 33 50 4 50 50 5 33 33 33 6 33 33 33 7 17 50 33 8 50 50 9 50 50 Total 12 44 44The results of the questionnaire are presented in Table 1. The results suggest that students perceived in-class peer verbal feedback and self-assessment of learning to be a positive and valued process, with 88% ofthe class selecting ‘quite a lot’ and ‘very much’ as answers for the majority of questions listed in Appendix 1.However, there was a trend towards students perceiving peer in-class feedback to be of greater benefit totheir learning when compared to self-assessment (reflection).
Positive aspects (for students)• Giving/receiving in-class peer verbal feedback facilitated coaching and technique• Regular in-class self-assessment (reflection) facilitated coaching and technique• The majority of students think that they will continue to give/receive in-class peer verbal feedback and self-assess (reflect) for their continuing professional developmentPositive aspects (for teachers)• Allows teachers to become facilitators rather than dictators of student learning• Provides teachers with a method of assessing understanding during each session• Enables a greater amount of content to be delivered during each session• Provides teachers with opportunities to create dialogue around the topic areasNegative aspects• When first introduced, some students took time to effectively engage and feel comfortable with giving and receiving peer verbal feedback and regularly reflectingLessons learntThe implications of this case study for teaching practice are that in-class peer verbal feedback and self-assessment of learning can enhance student learning and achievement, by enhancing their ability toeffectively judge their performance and progression towards pre-defined goals.What would I change when carrying out this in the future?I would introduce these methods at the beginning of the semester, or preferably when the studentscommence their undergraduate studies, rather than part-way through, in order to encourage engagementwith these methods for a longer overall duration and allow time for them to develop the necessary skills,particularly in self-assessment, in order for them to participate in these tasks more effectively.Good practice and transferabilityWhen appropriately introduced, regular in-class peer verbal feedback and self-assessment (reflection) oflearning opportunities can positively influence learning and achievement, especially in a practical setting. I
believe that these methods can effectively transfer across a range of subject areas; however, future researchis required in order to test this hypothesis.Further information and references• Black, P. and William, D. (1998). Assessment and classroom learning, Assessment in Education: Principles Policy and Practice, 5(1), 7-74.• Boud, D. (1986). Implementing Student Self-Assessment (Sydney, Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australia).• Boud, D. (1995). Enhancing learning through self-assessment. London: Kogan Page.• Boud, D. (2000). Sustainable assessment: rethinking assessment for the learning society, Studies in Continuing Education, 22(2), 151-167.• Boud, D., Cohen, R. and Sampson, J. (1999). Peer learning and assessment, Assessment and Evaluation i Higher Education, 24(4), 413-426.• Cowan, J. (1999). Being an innovative university teacher (Buckingham, SRHE & Open University Press).• Dearing, Sir R. (1997). Higher education in learning and society. London: HMSO.• Gibbs, G. (1999). Using assessment strategically to change the way students learn, in: S. Brown and A. Glasner (Eds) Assessment Matters in Higher Education: Choosing and Using Diverse Approaches (Buckingham, SRHE/Open University Press).• Juwah, C., Macfarlane-Dick, D., Matthew, B., Nichol, D., Ross, D., and Smith, B. (2004). Enhancing Studen Learning Through Effective Formative Feedback. York: The Higher Education Academy.• McDonald, B. and Boud, D. (2003). The impact of self-assessment on achievement: the effects of self- assessment training on performance in external examinations, Assessment in Education, 10(2), 209-220.•Nicol, D. J. and MacFarlane-Dick, D. (2006). Formative assessment and self-regulated learning: A model and seven principles of good feedback practice Studies in Higher Education, 31(2), 199-218.•Somervell, H. (1993). Issues in assessment, enterprise and higher education: the case for self, peer and collaborative assessment. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 18(3), 221-233.•Taras, M. (2001). The use of tutor feedback and student self-assessment in summative assessment tasks: towards transparency for students and for tutors. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 26(6), 606-614.• Taras, M. (2003). To feedback or not to feedback in student self-assessment. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 28(5), 549-565.• Taras, M. (2008). Issues of power and equity in two models of self-assessment. Teaching in Higher Education, 13(1), 81-92.
Appendix 1: Feedback Questionnaire: In-Class Peer Feedback and Self-AssessmentQ Questions regarding your perception of peer feedback Not Some- Quite a Very and self-assessment in Advanced S&C really what lot much1 Do you think that giving feedback to your peers facilitated the development of your coaching?2 Do you think that receiving feedback from your peers facilitated the development of your coaching?3 Do you think that giving feedback to your peers facilitated the development of your exercise technique?4 Do you think that receiving feedback from your peers facilitated the development of your exercise technique?5 Do you think that self-assessing (reflecting upon) your coaching facilitated the development of your subsequent coaching practice?6 Do you think that self-assessing (reflecting upon) your exercise technique facilitated the development of your subsequent exercise technique?7 Do you think it was beneficial to receive peer-feedback from the entire class at once?8 Do you think you will continue to give and receive peer- feedback as part of your continuing professional development as a coach?9 Do you think you will continue to self-assess (reflect upon) as part of your continuing professional development as a coach?10 Are there any other comments that you would like to make with regards to your perception of peer-feedback and self-assessment as it applies to S&C coaching?
Formative Feedback to Encourage teacher and peer dialogue around learning Udayangani Kulatunga Quantity Surveying, School of the Built EnvironmentFeedback for student learning can take many forms and from many parties including teacher, peer, externalassessors. Based on the feedback received for a task, learners can evaluate, self-correct and progress theirwork to produce a good outcome (Juwah et al. 2004). One of the main advantages of feedback is thediscussion forum which feedback linked to. The dialogue created between teachers and peers aroundlearning has been identified as one of the seven principles of good feedback. As asserted by (Juwah et al.2004), to increase effectiveness of feedback, it needs to be provided as a dialogue rather than informationtransmission. Hyland (2000) views that often learners do not understand the feedback provided to them.Cox (1987) identifies lack of time given for students to consolidate their learning during their lectures. Due tothe time pressures in completing the module content, teachers tend to rush their lecture without providingopportunity for students to reflect on their learning. However, when a dialogue is created around feedback,the tendency of learners understanding feedback can be improved. The dialogue created around feedbackfacilitates students to go into deep discussions not only around the particular task given by the teacher butgenerally around a subject matter. The possibility of creating such effective dialogue based on the subjectmatter is being identified by Freemen and Lewis (1998) as a positive impact of feedback. Nicol and Boyle(2003) notes that the dialogue created between students and teachers can provide a good platform forteacher managed discussions. Further, such dialogue provides students to immediately correct their mis-concepts, misunderstandings about a subject matter (Juwah et al. 2004).One of the interactive teaching methods that I used for my teaching create dialogue between teacher andstudents. Interactive teaching encourages students to behave and feel more engaged with the lecturer andpeers without simply attending a lecture as a passive recipient (Light and Cox 2001). Light and Cox (2001)further identify that interactive teaching as a mode of addressing “social dimension” of learning by helpingto create an environment where staff and students work together while creating a good dialogue betweenthem. The interactive learning method that I used was the Qwizdom clicker system. Hoffman and Goodwin(2006) view that student learning is improved by responding to questions answered using clickers andsubsequent discussions carried out in the class based on them. These discussions were not only targeted atthe questions post, but also lead to deep learning around the subject matter.
Qwizdom voting system as a method of formative feedbackAim and objectivesAim: To improve teaching and learning with the use of Technology Enhanced Learning methods used in thehigher education (UK PSF-CK4)Objectives:• to create an effective dialogue between students and teachers around the subject matter• to improve student engagement for learning• to evaluate student’s understanding of the subject matter• to provide formative feedback for students on the regular (weekly) basis• to address the issue of late arriving students without repeating subject matter that’s being already discussedBackgroundQwizdom voting system was used as a formative feedback method for UG year 2 fulltime and part-timestudents who are following Quantity Surveying degree programme. Qwizdom device was used at thebeginning of the session for the “re-cap” session that lasted for about 15-20 minutes. The questions mainlytargeted the content of the previous lecture. This provided a good understanding for both the student andtutor about student’s knowledge and understanding about the subject content. Qwizdon is capable ofproducing graphical illustrations based on the answers given by the student (% of correct and wronganswers) which provided a good basis for students to compare themselves against class averageperformance. Further, final questions of the Qwizdom session were focused on the current lecture of theday. After each question, a feedback dialogue was created regarding the questions. This dialogue provided agood basis for student and tutor to discuss about the subject matter in general.EvaluationThe impact of this initiative was measured by distributing and evaluating a questionnaire to students(UKPSF- CK5). The questions were prepared by using a Likert scale (Appendix 1). Following positive andnegative aspect of this initiative was obtained.Positive aspects (for students)• Interactive nature of the subject
• Improve understanding of the subject matter• Effective feedback discussions leading to previous and current lecture• Effective feedback discussions leading to overall subject matter• Anonymously of providing answers to questions• Evaluating students’ position in terms of the overall class performancePositive aspects (for teachers)• Provide opportunity for the teacher to create dialogue around the subject matter• Provide feedback on the student understanding• Provide feedback on the level of understanding of different students (PT and FT)Negative aspects• Technical difficulties when running the systemLessons learnt• This was the first time Qwizdom device was used for the lecturer and it was started during the 6th week of the lecture series. Therefore, expectations and standard that would be expected from the students were not in place. Accordingly, for the next semester, expectations and standards will be set up from the very beginning of lecturers.What would I change when carrying out this in the future:• Facilitate the use of Qwizdom device within pairs or between three students. This will also help to create discussions within group of students which will further enhance learning. Crouch and Mazur (2001) note that peer discussions help students to develop their knowledge significantly. Similarly, Light and Cox (2001) assert that areas difficult for the lecturer to help students to learn are better learned though peer discussions.• Would explore more literature to ascertain best types of questions that suite QwizdomGood practice and transferabilityPreparation of Qwizdom questions requires commitment and time, however, the student engagement isvery positive for this initiative. I believe this method is transferable across the university. It is expected toshare this knowledge during the scholarship week of the School of the Built Environment.
Further information and references• Cox, K, 1987, Knowledge which cannot be used is useless, Medical Teacher 9, 145-154• Freeman, R. and Lewis, R. (1998) Planning and Implementing Assessment. London: Kogan Page.• Hoffman, C., & Goodwin, S. (2006). A clicker for your thoughts: Technology for active learning. New Library World, 107(1228/1229), pp 422-433.• Hyland, P. (2000) Learning from feedback on assessment. In Booth, A. and Hyland, P. (eds.), The practice of university history teaching. Manchester: Manchester University Press.• Juwah, C., Macfarlane-Dick, D., Matthew, B., Nichol, D., Ross, D., and Smith, B. (2004). Enhancing Student Learning Through Effective Formative Feedback. York: The Higher Education Academy.• Light G and Cox R (2003) Learning and Teaching in higher education, SAGE, London• Nicol, D.J. and Boyle, J.T. (2003) Peer Instruction versus Class-wide Discussion in large classes: a comparison of two interaction methods in the wired classroom. Studies in Higher Education 28 (4), 457- 473.
Appendix 1: Feedback Questionnaire: Use of Qwizdom remote voting system Please identify the level of your agreement for the below questions. Neither agree nor disagree Strongly disagree Strongly agree Disagree Agree The use of Qwizdom voting system1 Increased my engagement at the class2 Improved my understanding of the subject matter3 Increased discussions based on the subject matter4 Motivated me to provide answer due to its Anonymous nature5 Evaluated my position within the class average performance6 Improved learning7 Directed me for the areas that I need to study8 Time consuming9 Has technical difficulties when setting up10 Other
Helps clarify what good performance is (goals, criteria, expected standards). Caroline Jones Research Methods , Social PolicyAccording to Sadler and Black and William, “students can only achieve a learning goal if they understandthat goal, assume some ownership of it, and can assess progress” (cited in Juwah et al. 2004:8). Juwah et alcite various studies which found that students’ ideas of what was required for the assignment differedconsiderably from their tutors. This is a problem which has affected me recently, although the assignment towhich it relates produces the same issue every year. The assessment is the first one the Year 4 studentshave. It is for Research Methods, and it is a literature review. Every year, we all patiently explain what isrequired and how a literature review differs from an essay. We explain it again. And again. And again. Everyyear, we are presented with the finished assignments, and every year, about half to three quarters of thepieces are essays, not literature reviews. Each year, the assessment description is modified in an attempt tomake it easier to understand, but each year, the result is more or less the same. The problem seems to bethat the students just do not understand what is expected of them. They have usually come from collegewhere they have written essays. They have come to university expecting to write essays, yet the first thingthey are expected to write is not an essay.Juwah et al suggest: “Weak and incorrect conceptions of goals not only influence what students do but alsothe value of feedback information” (2004:9), explaining that if the misunderstanding about what wasexpected is huge, then it “will be difficult for students to evaluate gaps between required and actualperformance” (2004:9). In many ways, the feedback my students receive afterwards is pointless, partly forthese reasons and partly because some of them will never be asked to write a literature review again, andthose that are will not be expected to do this until Level 6.One way around this is to provide “written documents embodying descriptive statements that externaliseassessment goals and the standards that define different levels of achievement” (2004:9). However, Juwahet al go on to explain that this has been shown not to work, which is certainly borne out by my experiences.Even verbal explanations do not help greatly, according to these studies, which again is my experience.One solution to my own problem might be to change the assignments around so that the Literature Reviewis not the first thing the students are faced with. Hopefully, by the time they come to it, they will be betterequipped to understand what is being asked. The counter argument to this is that a literature review is abuilding block on which most research is conducted, so it makes logical sense to address it first. Also, ifJuwah et al’s findings are correct (2004), it would not make much difference where in the course the
literature review was situated. Dropping the assignment completely in favour of something else, is anotheroption but one that is not within my remit at the present time.Juwah et al’s suggestion is the use of exemplars (2004), examples of what is required—in this case, ofliterature reviews. This is something I will be suggesting to the module leaders. I think that it could make ahuge difference to the students’ understanding of what a literature review actually it. It is a simple solution,yet I am confident that it will be very effective. Seeing an example can work so much better than even thebest explanation and is a technique I use a lot to great effect on another course I teach on. In fact, I cannotbelieve that I have not thought of transferring that idea from the other course to this one.Other suggestions include letting the student’s mark each other’s work and holding workshops whereassignments are devised in collaboration with the students. These are also good ideas and are things I will bethinking about in the future.
Blended (oral and written) method of formative feedback Fabrizio Gallai School of LanguagesAim and objectivesAim: To motivate students by adopting a joint oral and written method of feedback and, in turn, helping toachieve elements of equality and diversity (UK PSF PV1)Objectives:• to enhance student motivation and self-esteem• to enhance student engagement with learning• to assess students’ understanding of the subject matter• to improve equality and diversity by catering for different learning requirementsBackgroundA key outcome of the self-regulation and feedback model (Juwah, Macfarlane-Dick, Matthew, Nicol, Rossand Smith 2004; Nicol and Macfarlane-Dick 2006) is the set of principles and focus questions indicating whatgood assessment and feedback should do. In particular, I have focused on the principle which states thatfeedback should “encourage positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem”.Research has shown that such a blended (oral and written) formative feedback approach leads toimprovements in levels of attainment (Black and Wiliam 1998) an it is also not difficult to see the positiveeffect that it can have on levels of student motivation.EvaluationThe impact of this initiative was measured by distributing a questionnaire (UKPSF- CK5) to second yearstudents (Appendix 1) on the feedbacks received for their first Italian written formative assessment (Writinga covering letter in Italian). The first (oral) feedback was on the first draft of the formative assignment,whereas the second (written) feedback was on the final version of the written formative assessment.Such questionnaires “have reasonable levels of validity” (Gibbs 2010: 27). The questions are based on Table2 on Formative Feedback Guidelines to Enhance Learning (Things to Do) drawn from Shute’s (2007: 30) paperentitled Focus on Formative Feedback). In particular, the answers to question 8 (Did the feedback emphasisethat effort yields increased learning and performance and that mistakes are an important part of thelearning process?) were the following;
Not really: 0% A bit: 2% Quite a bit: 18% Very much: 80%This shows that external feedback mainly has a (very) positive effect on motivational beliefs and on self-esteem. It influences how students feel about themselves which, in turn, affects what and how they learn.Lastly this highlights the following positive and negative aspects of this feedback method:Positive aspects (for students)• Lead to detailed feedback discussion• Enhance understanding of overall subject matter through motivation and self-esteem• Improve students’ subsequent interest in learning and performancePositive aspects (for teachers)• Provide opportunity for the teacher to exchange views• Provide feedback on student understanding• Provide feedback on the level of understanding of individual studentsNegative aspects• Combining verbal and written feedback takes time• Students might not be willing to receive feedback twiceLessons learntThe implication of this case study for teaching practice is that motivation and self-esteem are likely to beenhanced when a course has low-stakes tasks with formative feedback geared to providing informationregarding progress and achievement. Combining oral and written feedback means that students who have atendency to compare themselves against others - rather than to focus on the difficulties in the task - willhave fewer chances to do so.What would I change when carrying out this in the future:Aspects that I would change to encourage high levels of motivation to succeed include:(1) giving marks on final written assignment only after students have responded to feedback comments;(2) giving time for students to re-write selected pieces of work according to written feedback;(3) some forms of peer- and self-assessment can be useful if these are well structured and use clear criteria.
Good practice and transferabilityPreparation of both oral and written feedback requires time. However, if we are to raise the levels ofachievement of the students, then we should be keen to develop our own practice in this area and providestudents with overwhelmingly positive experiences of the assessment process.In addition to these benefits to student identified above, the use of the survey has benefited my practice. Ithas helped me to engage with the students and find out more about their learning needs.Transferable practices are:- oral and/or written feedback on a formatively assessed work midway through the semester;- alternatively a short piece of summatively assessed work may be completed for feedback.Further information and references• Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (1998). Assessment and classroom learning. Assessment in Education, 5 (1), 7-74.• Gibbs, G. (2010) The assessment of group work: lessons from the literature. Oxford: Assessment Standards Knowledge Exchange. Available from: www.brookes.ac.uk/aske/documents/Brookes%20groupwork%20/Gibbs%20Dec%2009.pdf [November 2011].• Juwah, C., Macfarlane-Dick, D., Matthew, B., Nichol, D., Ross, D., and Smith, B. (2004). Enhancing Student Learning Through Effective Formative Feedback. York: The Higher Education Academy.• Nicol, D. J. and MacFarlane-Dick, D. (2006). Formative assessment and self-regulated learning: A model and seven principles of good feedback practice Studies in Higher Education, 31(2), 199-218.• Shute, V. J. (2007). Focus on formative feedback. ETS Research Report, RR-07-11 (pp. 1-47), Princeton, NJ
Appendix 1: Feedback questionnaireItalian Written Language - 2nd YearCourse Assignment 1 (Write a Covering Letter)Student Evaluation on Formative FeedbackLooking at the Formative Feedback given on your first course assignment (Write a Covering Letter), I wouldwelcome your experience, evaluation and any suggestion for improvement.- Please rate the items by placing an X in the appropriate column: Not A bit Quite a Very really bit much 1 Did the feedback address specific features of your work in relation to the task, with suggestions on how to improve? 2 Did the feedback describe the what, how, and/or why of a given problem? 3 Did you feel that the feedback was elaborated in small enough pieces so that it was not too overwhelming? 4 Were the feedback messages specific and clear? 5 Was the feedback simple and focused? 6 Did the feedback clarify goals and seek to reduce or remove uncertainty in relation to how well you are performing on the task and what needs to be accomplished to attain the goals? 7 Was the feedback unbiased and objective? 8 Did the feedback emphasise that effort yields increased learning and performance and that mistakes are an important part of the learning process? 9 Did the feedback note areas of strength and provide information on how to improve? 10 Was the feedback too controlling or critical? Are there any other comments you would like to make about the formative feedback?
Feedback provides information to teachers that can be used to shape their teaching Fiona Velez-Colby Design Futures, School of Art and DesignLiterature ReviewThe importance of formative feedback is well documented, and can be argued as the educationalintervention that has the most impact on a student’s learning (Gibbs 2010), a factor strengthened when it isdelivered quickly and efficiently to students (Angelo and Cross 1990). However good feedback does not onlybenefit the student but also provides the teacher with information about the learning styles and level ofsubject understanding of individual students, this information can then be used to improve the teachingbeing delivered to the student (Yorke 2003).Teachers can effectively use formative feedback given to students to formulate a reactive response to theirindividual learning needs. However in order to be produce relevant feedback to students, teachers needgood data about how students are progressing (Juwah 2010) both in terms of their subject understandingand their study skills. To use this information effectively teachers must establish practices to digest the dataand then incorporate this information into the teaching of that individual student or group of students; theprocess of reviewing and altering their teaching has to be immediate (Angelo and Cross 1990) and must bedelivered to the same cohort. Strategies that enable teachers to both provide regular and immediatefeedback to students also allow both parties to share their concepts of teaching and learning on a regularbasis (Juwah 2010) which has the effect of aiding the teacher to support the student’s ability to engage inindependent learning and develop their understanding of what their role in the learning process should be(Gibbs 2010).Investigation into the effectiveness of formative feedback to directly shape teachingTesting Principle 7 - Feedback provides information to teachers that can be used to help shape their teaching(Juwah et al. 2004.)Aims and objectivesThe specific aims of this case study are to ascertain whether or not in instances where formative feedback isused to directly shape the teaching it has;• Increased the students understanding of the subject• Improved teaching on the module• Met the individual learning styles of each student• Provided an environment that facilitates them becoming independent learners
BackgroundI have observed that much of the learning I have engaged with on the PGCAP has influenced my perspectiveon methods of teaching and has allowed for the integration of my learning and research with steps taken tofacilitate deeper learning by the students (UK PSF AoA 4&5). Much of the research on the subject of usingclassroom assessment techniques acknowledges that Formative Classroom Assessments purpose is toimprove the quality of student learning, not to provide evidence for evaluating or grading students. Theassessment is almost never graded and are almost always anonymous (Angelo and Cross. 1990), thereforeinformation generated about the student learning can be used to directly adjust teaching to address anygaps in not only subject matter, but also study skills and ability (Juwah et al. 2004), as well as providinginformation to the students about their work.Scale of Case StudyThis case study has focuses on one module of the BA Hons Design Futures course. The module is an electedmodule with a total of 8 students enrolled on it. The study was implemented to coincide with the start of thePGCAP, so has been running since Oct 2011. The changes made to the module delivery methods, thedevelopment of student evaluation forms and the analysis of findings after each stage of formative feedbackhas been conducted in my own time with an aim of improving my teaching and to use the knowledge gainedon the PGCAP to inform my teaching practice (UK PSF AoA 5 & 6) and not as part of a programme levelinvestigation.Investigation the effectiveness of using formative feedback to directly shape teachingThe module structure has traditionally been a 12 week taught programme of 7 lectures, 4 individual tutorialsevenly dispersed at weeks 3, 5, 8 & 10 and 1 guest speaker lecture in week 12. The module had 2submissions, both written assignments of approximately 3000 words each, one at week 7 and one at week12. The content is reviewed and updated every year prior to delivery, however the methods of deliveryremained essentially unchanged. During the revision process of last year’s module I decided that thesubmission requirements would be changed to one written submission and the assignment would require agreater level of independent investigation and enable students to engage with the subject matter in a morepersonalised manner, thereby supporting independent learning and encouraging the development of anattitude of responsibility towards their own learning (Gibbs 2010) (Stefani and Clarke 2000).The module structure was changed during the course of the semester in response to issues identified duringthe first few weeks of teaching after discussion with Chrissi Nerantzi, Lisa Thomas (Design Futures
Programme Leader) and my introduction to concepts dealing with student learning and individual needswhich were not previously considered when designing my module delivery methods (UK PSF AoA 5 & 6 / CK3,4 & 5 / PV 1, 4 & 5). A concern that the delivered content was failing to sufficiently facilitate the students(successful) completion of the assignments was the motivation for this case study and decision to useformative feedback as a method to influence the teaching on this module.The final module structure delivered to the students consisted of;Weeks 1 & 2 - Lectures as previously delivered in 2010 but with updated content.Week 3 - Individual tutorials following the submission of a draft project proposal.Week 4 - Set of 30 minute mini-lectures with brainstorming sessions to produce Mind-maps with discussionafter each mini-lecture.Week 5 - Presentation of project proposals to class followed by peer and tutor assessment. Eachpresentation and subsequent feedback session was videoed, then posted onto the VLE for students to view.Week 6 - 50/50 Lecture followed by group activity based on delivered content.Week 7 - Lecture as previously delivered in 2010 but with updated content.Week 8 - Individual tutorials to discuss project progress (no draft reading).Week 9 - PBL Session - with step by step guidance from tutor, concluding with evaluation of the learningachieved against desired learning outcomes.Week 10 - Presentation of project progress followed by peer and tutor assessment. Each presentation andsubsequent feedback session was recorded, then posted onto the VLE for students to view.Week 11 - 50/50 Lecture and PBL session - format was designed in response to student evaluation of Week 9PBL session.Week 12 - Guest speaker/workshop session.(All old/unaltered content shown in italics)EvaluationA questionnaire using a Likert scale was used to evaluate the success of these student centred andinteractive methods of delivering the content and the benefits to the students of gaining immediateformative feedback from both their peers and tutor about their individual assignments. The evaluation formscan be found in Appendix 1 and 2.
Student Presentations and Peer / Tutor Feedback - 2 sessions, total attendance over the 2sessions was total of10 students - 60% response rate 5 Definitely agree 4 Mostly agree 3 Neither agree nor disagree 2 Mostly disagree 1 Definitely disagree N/A Not applicable 5 4 3 2 1 1. I understand the concepts explained in this module. 4 1 1 … … 2. I understand the objectives of this session. 3 3 … … … 3. Presenting my ideas helped me clarify my assignment objectives. 3 3 … … … 4. Getting feedback from my peers helps my learning. 4 2 … … … 5. There are enough additional resources to support my learning. 4 1 1 … … 6. There is enough support from the lecturer 4 1 1 … … 7. The lecturer is enthusiastic about what they are teaching. 5 1 … … … 8. The lectures are intellectually stimulating. 5 1 … … … 9. The lectures are too difficult for me to understand ... … ... 1 5 Personal development 10. The lecture has helped me to present myself with confidence. 3 3 ... … … 11. My communication skills have improved. 3 2 1 … … 12. As a result of the lecture, I feel confident in tackling unfamiliar problems. 2 3 1 … …Table 1.Student’s comments on the presentation and feedback session are listed in Appendix 3.Number of times students accessed video and audio files of their personal feedback Video Recordings Presentation Feedback No of No of views views Student 1 2 3 Student 2 3 2 Student 3 9 12 Student 4 5 13 Student 5 Table 2.
Audio Recordings No of listens Student 1 2 Student 2 2 Student 3 0 Student 4 0 Student 5 0 Table 3.Results of presentations and peer / tutor feedback evaluation forms, student comments andviewings of feedback sessionsFrom the results gained from the evaluation forms from student presentations and the comments made thefollowing assessments can be made;• 100% of students found it beneficial to present their project progress to the tutor and other students.• 100% of students found it helped their understanding of their investigations to get formative feedback from the tutor and their peers.The students seemed to gain confidence and improve their communication skills in presenting their workand also benefited from alternative points of view relating to their own established perspectives about theirwork.• 80% of students watched their initial presentation session and the video feedback from tutor and peers.• A total of 49 viewings of the presentation sessions and the video feedback sessions were completed.•40% of students listened to the audio recordings of their presentations and feedback sessions.• A total of 4 listens of the audio recordings were completed.Although not all students listened back to the recordings of video and audio feedback, most did andtherefore it can be assumed (by the multiple views) that it was beneficial to their understanding of theirprojects.There are also 2 other assumptions than can be made;• The students much preferred the video feedback to the audio feedback.• The formative feedback gained earlier on in the module (i.e. the video feedback) was much more helpful to their investigations than the formative feedback received much nearer to the hand-in date of their investigations (i.e. the audio feedback).
Although these 2 statements appear to be in contrast with each other it is possible that they are bothapplicable as each student has individual learning needs, preferences of the way in which they learn and alsothe level of support they need even when they are all engaging in the same learning task (Cho and Forde2001). In order to meet the needs of a diverse group of students it will be necessary for tutors toacknowledge the individuality of the students and design the delivery of modules to meet these needs, asCho and Forde state; Faculty need to provide multiple methodologies for students to learn each newsubject or problem... University teachers can no longer function solely as authoritative theoretical expewho dictate abstract concepts and problems to their students (2001:89).PBL Session - 1 session, attendance was total of 5 students - 80% response rate5 Definitely agree4 Mostly agree3 Neither agree nor disagree2 Mostly disagree1 Definitely disagreeN/A Not applicable 5 4 3 2 11. I understand the concepts explained in thismodule. 4 … … … …2. I feel this session has allowed for deeperlearning than a traditional lecture. 3 ... … 1 …3. Investigating the learning objectives in this wayhas helped me understand the content better. 1 2 1 … …4. The PBL session has made me understand thesubject of corporate identity 1 3 … … …5. I feel there are areas of the subject I have notlearnt enough about. … 2 … 2 …6. There was enough guidance from the lecturer 1 2 1 … …7. The lecturer is enthusiastic about what they areteaching 3 18. This session was intellectually stimulating. 3 1 … … …9. The session makes the subject difficult for meto understand 1 1 2Personal development10. The session has helped me to present myselfwith confidence. 2 1 1 … …11. My communication skills have improved. 1 2 1 … …12. As a result of the session, I feel confident intackling unfamiliar problems. 1 3 ... ...Table 4.Student’s comments on the PBL session are listed in Appendix 4
Results of PBL session evaluation formsFrom the results on the student evaluation forms of the PBL session the following assessments can be made:• 100% of students felt they understood the subject being investigated, although this result could be skewed by the previous year’s lectures given on (the subject of) corporate identity and image.•75% of students felt the PBL structure allowed for deeper learning than a traditional lecture.•25% of students felt the PBL structure did not allow for deeper learning than a traditional lecture.Therefore this it can be assumed that although most students found the PBL session helped their learning,some of the students felt that it was not beneficial to their learning. These findings are further reinforced bythe following results:• 50% of students felt there were areas of the subject they had not learnt.• 25% of students felt that the session format made it difficult to understand the subject.It is also clear that the difference in the students’ abilities to take control of their own learning is quite variedwithin even this small sample of students. Initially most of them seemed daunted by the PBL task althoughsome took on the challenge and ultimately benefitted from this alternative method of learning. Howeverthose students who felt they had not really benefitted from the session were placed at a disadvantage. Inorder to compensate for this, the subsequent PBL session in Week 11 was split with a more traditionallecture style delivery of content relevant to the PBL activity that followed. This allowed for all the students toengage with the learning without anyone benefitting more than another. Anecdotal evaluation gatheredfrom the students at the end of the Week 11 session showed that the majority of students (6 out of 7) feltthis had been the most successful of the delivered sessions, with only 1 student stating she still preferred thetraditional lecture style of delivering content.As Gibbs (2010) states, students have different interpretations of what constitutes good teaching’. Some areaccustomed to taking responsibility over their own learning and some will expect a teacher to provide all thecontent in lectures. Students can interpret good teaching in many ways, for example as increasing theirknowledge, as a teacher clarifying everything or as the teacher facilitating the students own learning (VanRossum, Deijkers and Hamer 1985). Teachers need to take into account the different perceptions studentshave regarding teaching it is their responsibility to facilitate the development of students into sophisticatedlearners.
Effect on Aspects of Personal DevelopmentIn all cases various elements of personal development were also improved. The evaluation results also showthat both in the presentation and feedback sessions and the PBL sessions;• 90% felt they had increased confidence in presenting their ideas.• 80% felt they had improved their communication skills.• 90% Felt more able to tackle unfamiliar problems.There were no negative evaluations relating to personal development made against either session type withthe remaining students choosing "3-Neither agree nor disagree" to describe their feelings.ConclusionFrom the results it is clear that the benefit to the students in presenting their own investigations to the classand receiving immediate feedback (supported by video/audio recordings available in their own time) issignificant, advantageous and benefits both their academic and personal development. This combined with amixture of traditional delivery methods, class discussions and PBL activities has encouraged them to developskills needed to develop a feeling of ownership and responsibility over their own learning (Stefani et al.2000) and ultimately become will enable them to become sophisticated learners (Gibbs 2010).The formative feedback study has provided significant and varied information to the tutor about thestudents in terms of;• The students understanding of their own individual investigations.• The students research process.• The students level of understanding of other students investigations.• The students understanding of the subject matter.• The variety of students individual learning styles.The formative feedback study has provided significant and varied information to the tutor about theirteaching in terms of;• The tutor’s ability to effectively use feedback to improve their teaching practice.• The tutor’s ability to meet the needs of a diverse range of student learning styles.• The tutor’s ability to facilitate the student’s development by supporting independent learning.These findings display the value of conducting this type of analysis and shows how the tools used forevaluation of student learning should ideally be designed to ensure that not only does the teacher gain
insights into student learning but also such that the teacher should obtain useful insights into theeffectiveness of their teaching style or method (Stefani, Clarke and Littlejohn 2000). It is also important toremember that using formative feedback to inform teaching is a vital part of reflective practice and needs tobe conducted at regular intervals during module delivery. This benefits the student as it has been shown thaton degree programmes where the volume of formative assessment is greater, students take a deepapproach to their studies to a greater extent (Gibbs and Dunbar-Goddet 2007), and it benefits the tutor asfrequent assessment tasks, especially diagnostic tests, can help teachers generate cumulative informabout students’ levels of understanding and skill so that they can adapt their teaching accordingly (Juwet al. 2004).Lessons learntThis study shows that this particular cohort of students preferred to have elements of traditional teachingi.e. lectures and PBL methods in the same session. This structure better meets the needs of all students as itcaters for diversity in the ability of students and learning styles.Consideration must be given to inclusivity and accessibility. Design Management 3 is not an on-line module;so it is important that the majority of learning and the facilitation of student learning is carried out in thedelivered sessions. Other elements that support learning such as additional support materials, audio andvideo feedback and other methods must only support and not substitute the learning that takes place in thedelivered sessions.The tutor is required to facilitate students development into autonomous, independent and self-motivated learners (Stefani Clarke, Littlejohn. 2000), and maintain high levels of support that include allstudents regardless of ability or specific learning preferences to enable their academic and personaldevelopment.Considering the evaluation received from this cohort I wouldnt conduct a 100% PBL session for delivery withthis group, but rather conduct a smaller PBL activity with other groups of students to gauge their responseprior to dedicating an entire session to a PBL activity. Consideration must be given to the needs of allstudents and I feel this method adversely benefits those students who have engaged in responsibility of theirown learning at the detriment of other students.
Good practice and transferabilityIn order to better evaluate the success of the changes made to the Design Management 3 module it wouldbe necessary to compare the results of the students submitted work against the average of the previousyear’s results. As Gibbs (2010) states One of the most telling indicators of the quality of educationaloutcomes is the work students submit for assessment, such as their final-year project or dissertation.Unfortunately this information is not presently available due to the timing of this case study, but shouldcertainly be considered at a later date.A longitudinal study is needed with a greater number of students to test the reliability of the results of thisstudy. In order to improve the accuracy of the results in establishing the benefit students perceived to getfrom the different kinds of formative feedback received throughout this module, I would have also neededto get student evaluation on the individual tutorial sessions to establish comparison between thepresentation sessions with peer and tutor feedback and the more traditional individual tutorial sessions.Better methods need to be established in order to get a higher percentage of student feedback and alsomore immediate analysis of the data provided. The university has a quiz system that can be used for thispurpose, unfortunately due to the geographical location of the School of Art and Design this may not be aviable solution if the devices can only be borrowed on a short-term loan. Alternatively there are various on-line questionnaire sites that could provide this function, in particular ones that allow students to test results,this could be effective provided students were not liable for the cost of the texts.Arguably this kind of study can and should be incorporated into the teaching practice of tutors and that thiskind of reflective practice of ones own effectiveness as a facilitator of learning can only benefit students.When classroom assessment is used to generate (immediate) feedback that both informs students learningand informs the teaching practice of teachers it creates a feedback loop that becomes integrated into theeveryday classroom activities, with more usage the communications loop connecting faculty and students -- and teaching and learning -- becomes more efficient and more effective (Angelo and Cross . 1990).
Further information and references• Angelo, T. and Cross, P. (1990), Classroom Assessment Techniques. Jossey Bass• Gibbs, G. (2010), Dimensions of Quality. The Higher Education Academy.• Gibbs, G. and Dunbar-Goddet, H . (2007), The effects of programme assessment environments on student learning. Higher Education Academy.• Juwah, C. Macfarlane, D.D. Matthew, B. Nicol, D. Ross, D. and Smith, B. (2004.), Enhancing student learning through effective formative feedback. June, Issue: 68. The Higher Education Academy, 1-41.•Cho, M. and Forde, E. (2001), Designing Teaching and Assessment Methods for Diverse Student Populations. Journal of Art & Design Education, 20: 86-95.• Steadman, M. (1998), Using classroom assessment to change both learning and teaching. New Directions for Teaching and Learning. 75: 23-35.• Stefani, L.A.J. Clarke, J. Littlejohn, A.H. (2000), Developing a Student- Centred Approach to Reflective Learning, Innovations in Education & Training International, 37:2, 163-171.• Van Rossum, E .J., Deijkers, R . and Hamer, R . (1985), Students’ learning conceptions and their interpretation of significant educational concepts. Higher Education. 14 (6), pp617-641.• Yorke, M. (2003) Formative assessment in higher education: Moves towards theory and the enhancement of pedagogic practice. Higher Education 45 (4), 477-501.
Appendix 1:Student feedback 5 Definitely agree 4 Mostly agree(adapted from National Student Survey 3 Neither agree nor disagree2005 Questionnaire) 2 Mostly disagree 1 Definitely disagree N/A Not applicableThe teaching in this lecture 5 4 3 2 11. I understand the conceptsexplained in this module. … … … … …2. I understand theobjectives of this session. … … … … …3. Presenting my ideashelped me clarify my … … … … …assignment objectives.4. Getting feedback from mypeers helps my learning. … … … … …5. There are enoughadditional resources to … … … … …support my learning.6. There is enough supportfrom the lecturer … … … … …7. The lecturer is enthusiasticabout what they are … … … … …teaching.8. The lectures are … … … … …intellectually stimulating.9. The lectures are toodifficult for me to … … … … …understandPersonal development10. The lecture has helped meto present myself with … … … … …confidence.11. My communication skillshave improved. … … … … …12. As a result of the lecture, Ifeel confident in tackling … … … … …unfamiliar problems.Other comments
Appendix 2:Student feedback about PBL session 5 Definitely agreeon Corporate Identity and Corporate Image 4 Mostly agree 3 Neither agree nor disagree(adapted from National Student Survey 2 Mostly disagree2005 Questionnaire) 1 Definitely disagree N/A Not applicableThe teaching in this lecture 5 4 3 2 11. I understand the conceptsexplained in this module. … … … … …2. I feel this session hasallowed for deeper learning … … … … …than a traditional lecture.3. Investigating the learningobjectives in this way hashelped me understand the … … … … …content better.4. The PBL session has mademe understand the subject … … … … …of corporate identity4. I feel there are areas ofthe subject I have not learnt … … … … …enough about.6. There was enoughguidance from the lecturer … … … … …7. The lecturer is enthusiasticabout what they are … … … … …teaching.8. This session was … … … … …intellectually stimulating.9. The session makes thesubject difficult for me to … … … …understandPersonal development10. The session has helped meto present myself with … … … …confidence.11. My communication skillshave improved. … … … …12. As a result of the session, Ifeel confident in tackling … … … …unfamiliar problems.Other comments
Appendix 3:Student’s comments on the presentation and feedback session;"The class presentations are a great way to prepare for the future. Communication is key and group sessions are ideal to improveours.The lectures are always helpful and presented very well and interesting. They are not just talking, there are always visuals on screenstoo. I have learnt a great deal in this module and am enjoying the investigation assignment.""There were some issues and limits we hit which were sound levels. I think a Dictaphone on the table would have had the sameeffect but possibly made people feel a bit less intimidated by the camera.""I feel presenting in front of the class is useful because talking about your investigation helps you clarify what parts you are missing.Its also really useful to hear fresh ideas from students. After working on the investigation for months, its useful to get someone elsesinsight. Especially as sometimes you’ve missed something really obvious. I found it interesting to hear the process that the otherstudents had undergone. Its useful to hear different ways of tackling an investigation."Appendix 4:Student’s comments on the PBL session;"that session was good. I enjoyed the group work and being able to work on your own and take ownership for your own bit ofknowledge which you have to feed back into the group.I liked the summary you gave at the end which tied in all the differences, positives and negatives of the way we did it.""At the start of the lesson when Fiona presented the task, it seemed quite daunting. I felt it was going to be tough task. However asthe session progressed I began to enjoy it more and more. As soon as we started to get involved, it was a lot more interesting than Ihad initially predicted. Having to explore the subject matter ourselves made the learning immediate! I felt I understood the topicbecause it was in our own terms, rather than a lecture. It also allowed us to put the topic into context which makes the content tostick a lot better. On the other hand, I feel for students who are not as confident, this style of lecture may be worrying. A few peoplein my group voiced at the start they did not like speaking in front of the class. However, taking part in these experiences will onlyimprove on that skill which will be invaluable for the future. Overall, I feel the session was planned thoroughly and a lot of effort hadbeen put into it. The timing ran really well, and I felt each section had just the right amount of time. I left the class feeling I had learnta lot and had got to know some of the students I hadnt really talked to before. Even though some topics will always suit the ‘lecturestyle session’, some sessions can definitely benefit from a set up like the session today.""This session allowed me to interact better with other students which helped me develop my knowledge through theirunderstanding of the subject as well as my own.Allowing me to complete my own research in class helped me to understand the subject in my own way helping me to grasp adeeper understanding of the subject area. "
Final ConclusionIn order to provide a comparison of the methods used by group the main benefits of each method used andthe limitations of each method are displayed in Table 1. Group member Formative Benefits of the method Limitations Feedback (if any) Method John Peer-verbal, Giving/receiving in-class peer verbal When first introduced, Tutor-verbal feedback facilitated coaching and some students took time technique to effectively engage and Regular in-class self-assessment feel comfortable with (reflection) facilitated coaching and giving and receiving peer technique verbal feedback and The majority of students think that regularly reflecting they will continue to give/receive in- class peer verbal feedback and self- assess (reflect) for their continuing professional development Allows teachers to become facilitators rather than dictators of student learning Provides teachers with a method of assessing understanding during each session Enables a greater amount of content to be delivered during each session Provides teachers with opportunities to create dialogue around the topic areas Udayangani Verbal Interactive nature of the subject Technical difficulties when Improve understanding of the running the system subject matter Time taken by the Effective feedback discussions Qwizdom session that can leading to previous and current be used to teach more lecture subject content Effective feedback discussions leading to overall subject matter Anonymously of providing answers to questions Evaluating students’ position in terms of the overall class performance Provide opportunity for the teacher to create dialogue around the subject matter Provide feedback on the student understanding Provide feedback on the level of understanding of different students (PT and FT)
Fabrizio Oral and Lead to detailed feedback Combining verbal and Written discussion written feedback takes Enhance understanding of time overall subject matter through Students might not be motivation and self-esteem willing to receive Improve students’ subsequent feedback twice interest in learning and performance Provide opportunity for the teacher to exchange views Provide feedback on student understanding Provide feedback on the level of understanding of individual studentsFiona Peer-verbal, Provides significant and varied information Only provides information Tutor-verbal to the tutor about the students in terms of; about a specific group or Audio The students understanding of their individual students in own individual investigations, terms of learning style research process, level of and level of subject understanding of other students understanding . investigations. The students Can be time consuming understanding of the subject matter when beginning the and variety of individual learning process of evaluation and styles. data gathering. Provides significant and varied information Must be an ongoing to the tutor about their teaching in terms process to be effective. of; The tutor’s ability to effectively use feedback to improve their teaching practice, their ability to meet the needs of a diverse range of student learning styles and ability to facilitate the students development by supporting independent learning.Table 1. Comparison of the methods used within the groupTable 1. Comparison of the methods used within the groupBelow is a brief summary of the main findings from each case study and the observational work conductedby Caroline, which highlights the benefits of each feedback principle on student learning and identifies issuesrelated to equality, diversity, inclusivity and accessibility.1. Facilitates the development of self-assessment (reflection) in learningBenefits to student learning: • Facilitates independent learning • Enables students to judge their progression towards goals • Creates an inclusive learning environmentIssues related to equality, diversity, inclusivity and accessibility:Self-assessment is considered to be an evolution towards a more inclusive democratic learning environment(Somervell, 1993; Dearing, 1997) as it promotes greater equality of power between teachers and students(Taras, 2008), which has been shown to enhance student learning (Black and William, 1998; Nicol and
Macfarlane-Dick, 2006). It is also postulated that self-assessment provides inclusivity among students fromany level and/or stage of the assessment process (Taras, 2008).2. Encourages teacher and peer dialogue around learning:Benefits to student learning: • Creates effective dialogue between learners and teachers regarding the subject matter • Increases student engagement during the class • Allows the incorporation of technologies for teachingIssues related to equality, diversity, inclusivity and accessibility:There are learners with different requirements such as difficulty of hearing, understanding, concentrating,communicating with others, accessing text, and learners with dyslexia. Feedback provided during theQwizdom session was accessible to all due to the visibility of the illustrated answers in the power-pointslides and engagement with the dialogue created around the questions. Unlike written feedback that mightnot favourable to dyslexic students, the discussions created around the Qwizdom questions and answers arehelpful to all students. Apart from the formative feedback sessions using Qwizdom, the module is alsosupplemented with an online test to provide feedback for students. These diverse methods of formativefeedback methods improve equality and diversity of learning for students.3. Helps clarify what is (goals, criteria, expected standards)Benefits to student learning: • It is vital that the students understand what is expected of themIssues related to equality, diversity, inclusivity and accessibility:6. Encourages positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem:Benefits to student learning: • Leads to detailed feedback discussions • Enhances student understanding • Improves students’ interest in learningIssues related to equality, diversity, inclusivity and accessibility:Combining oral and written feedback means that students who have a tendency to compare themselvesagainst others - rather than to focus on the difficulties in the task - will have less chance to do so. Furtherstudents’ feedback becomes more inclusive and accessible as two different means are used.
7. Provides information to teachers that can be used to help shape the teaching:Benefits to student learning: • Provides individual information about the specific needs of a particular group of students rather than generic information that can be applied to any other group of students • Is a vital part of reflective practice and using formative feedback to enhance student learning that needs to be conducted at regular intervals during module delivery • Needs to be done so that information gathering and data analysis can be done quickly and effectivelyIssues related to equality, diversity, inclusivity and accessibility:The variety of assessment techniques and feedback methods described in the case study, such as studentspresentations and group discussions, peer feedback, video and audio feedback provide ever-more diversestudent populations support to their learning. It allows teachers to adapt their teaching in a way that canoptimise student learning and academic achievement (Cho and Forde 2001). Providing feedback in a varietyof formats addresses issues relating to inclusivity and accessibility as these methods don’t exclude studentswith learning difficulties, problems with reading and understanding information and those that simply wantthe ability to refer back to feedback and discussion about their work.Future directionsFuture work should be conducted in order to investigate the benefits of the two principles of good feedbackpractice which were not investigated within the current case studies. These were that good feedbackpractice should: “provide opportunities to close the gap between current and desired performance” and“deliver high quality information to students about their learning”.