What is eFeedback?
UK context – EMA with a focus on eFeedback
What is good Feedback?
Rationale - what are the benefits of eFeedback?
electronic submission of an assignment
electronic marking (including offline marking
eg in Word)
electronic feedback (ie text, audio, video but
not hard copy
electronic return of marks
Plagiarism deterrence and detection
To identify current practice with regard to
Electronic Management of Assessment
(EMA) in UK HE
To gain a snapshot of the strategic
overview identifying key issues relating to
strategic change, policies and practices
To reflect on longitudinal developments
from findings from 2011 – 2013 surveys
A network of senior staff in institutions engaged
in promoting, supporting and developing
technology enhanced learning
Over 138 nominated Heads from UK Higher
A regular programme of well attended events
Represents the interests of its members to
various national bodies and agencies including
the Higher Education Academy and JISC
More positive attitudes towards EMA and its
normalising within their institutions
Challenges in relation to buy-in, take up and
roll-out processes, functionality, service
disruption and standardisation and whether
the latter is desirable and achievable.
‗There has been a change in attitude towards eFeedback, with a number
of members of staff recognising that they already do this in some form.‘
An urgent sector-wide agenda. Usage has moved from individual early
adopters to more widespread, formalised use. For many institutions it is
increasingly becoming embedded in departmental practice
Interest is growing because of the perceived value, benefits and
A common student expectation
Increased perception from staff that most if not all marking will have to
move in this direction ‗it's becoming accepted as the norm.‘
However, a very small proportion of respondents report no, little or slow
moving change in attitudes.
Trend towards greater standardisation driven by
pedagogic concerns and desire to provide consistent
user experience and increase student satisfaction.
The introduction of a set of marking standards is
happening in some universities with technology
providing the framework in which this can happen.
Eg rubrics in Grademark
However, there are also differences in opinion:
‗Different subject areas want to provide different
types of feedback so we will never have
standardization across all disciplines.‘
What are the benefits of good feedback? In
general, not specifically eFeedback.
Sadler – 3 conditions necessary for students to
benefit from feedback in academic tasks. The
student must know:
1. what good performance is (i.e. must possess a
concept of the goal or standard being aimed
2. how current performance relates to good
performance (for this, students must be able to
compare current and good performance);
3. how to act to close the gap between current
and good performance.‖ (Sadler, 1989)
helps clarify what good performance is (goals, criteria, expected
facilitates the development of self-assessment (reflection) in learning;
delivers high quality information to students about their learning;
encourages teacher and peer dialogue around learning;
encourages positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem;
provides opportunities to close the gap between current and desired
provides information to teachers that can be used to help shape the
teaching. (Nicol, 2006)
11 conditions identified under which assessment supports student learning – 7 about
Quantity and timing of feedback
Sufficient feedback is provided, both often enough and in enough detail
The feedback is provided quickly enough to be useful to students
Quality of feedback
Feedback focuses on learning rather than on marks or students themselves
Feedback is linked to the purpose of the assignment and to criteria
Feedback is understandable to students, given their sophistication
Student response to feedback
Feedback is received by students and attended to
Feedback is acted upon by students to improve their work or their learning
Gibbs and Simpson (2003)
◦ Comments/track changes in student assignment using
◦ Comments using GradeMark in Turnitin
Rubrics – University marking/grading
Banks of comments
Generic to whole group
◦ Enhance student learning as feedback is more detailed and
Saves time with marking and handling paper copies
Saves energy – ―green‖
Tracking and auditing
◦ Improves consistency, legibility
◦ Easier access so more likely to be read and reviewed by students?
◦ NSS – Assessment and Feedback scores
Technical eg click that read
Non-technical - include 2 or 3 key points and
ask them to write a sentence or 2 at
beginning of next assignment about how
―There is also a question about student
expectations and preparedness for new and
different forms of feedback. Students are not
always sure how to interpret and use new
forms like audio feedback.‖
There are also concerns about who will
support students in this process.
1. (Without reducing the amount of feedback) in
what circumstances can using digital audio save
◦ The most favourable circumstances would appear to be:
The assessor is comfortable with the technology.
The assessor writes or types slowly but records their speech
A substantial amount of feedback is given.
A quick and easy method of delivering the audio file to the
student is available.
2. Does digital audio feedback improve students‘
Students were overwhelmingly positive about
receiving audio feedback on their coursework
Frequently remarked approvingly about its personal
nature and the detail provided; evidence that the
lecturer had carefully considered their work
A small minority of students said they preferred
written feedback; a few asked for both audio and
written comments on their work.
3. What do assessors think of digital audio as a
medium for providing feedback to students?
Strongly in favour of audio feedback
Most have clearly said that they intend to
continue using it
Even if they didn‘t manage to save time, several
members of the team commented that they were
able to give more, and higher-quality, feedback
using audio, which they felt was worthwhile.
4. What recommendations are there for improved practice?
How much time you eventually save will depend on various factors, including how
much feedback you give and how quickly you write, type and speak.
Consider accepting a longer pay-back period. Experiment with spending more
time in the short term, using audio to give your students more extensive advice
and richer feedback. It may save you and your colleagues work in the long term.
Make your audio files as small as possible, so they can be sent quickly and stored
Aim for the minimum acceptable sound quality for the particular purpose.
Keep the files short – don‘t ‗overdo it‘. Only go beyond five minutes if there is a
Make sure key administrative and quality-assurance staff accept that you are
giving audio rather than written feedback.
Podcasts have the potential to increase the detail and accessibility of assessment
feedback, provide commentaries which students view as more personalized and
understandable, and encourage a deeper engagement with the feedback
Tutors need to be wary of providing commentaries that are too lengthy and the
possible drawbacks of the reduction in written feedback
Podcasts may work particularly well when providing feedback for oral
presentations, role plays, drama ‗performances‘ or electronic based submissions.
Generic overview feedback podcast can help all students to situate their own
performance in relation to others in the group. Generic podcasts may also be an
appropriate strategy for large groups (perhaps above 40 students) when individual
podcasts are not a viable option.
Podcasting is more likely to be readily accepted in modules where there is already
a technology enhanced learning component.
Salmon, G (2008) Podcasting for Learning in Universities
When would video feedback be the most
What are the benefits of peer assessment and
The requirement to submit a written draft electronically focused
the students thinking. Tutors noticed that at this stage of the
project groups were in general further ahead in their planning
Students appreciated being able to see what other groups were
doing and assess their peers‘ work.
Students‘ feedback showed that they had picked up on aspects
that were missing from another group‘s proposal, were able to
make a judgment on their own group‘s proposal and realise how
it could be improved.
The delivery of the peer assessment using an online tool
facilitated the organisational and administrative elements of the
process and gave students the flexibility to meet when they were
Plan the timing and structure of the different peer assessment components.
E.g. Start dates, due date deadlines and posting feedback
Clear and concise guidance and instructions to be provided ahead of time
Provide a demonstration of the online screens the students will encounter
Clearly communicate the benefits and/or skills you expect the students to
Provide the questions students will be answering before they take the peer
The timing needs to fit in with the assignment timetable to make it relevant
and leave sufficient time for students to make use of any feedback received
Participating in the peer assessment needs to be made a compulsory part of
Jake Leith and Joanna Zara in Professional Practice, Art
Design and Media using peer formative feedback
effectively for a Level 4 professional practice module.
Student group project.
Use studentfolio to build a plan of how the group will
produce a business case study report
Groups review each others plans against set of questions
that match up with the assessment outcomes. Makes
students aware of the assessment outcomes they'll be
marked against for the final report.
Their plan and the peer feedback is then used in the group
tutorial with the tutor in the following week.
Gibbs, G., Simpson, C. & Macdonald, R. (2003) Improving student learning through changing
JISC Design Studio (2013) http://jiscdesignstudio.pbworks.com/w/page/50193583/Feedback
Newland, B, Martin, L, Bird, A, Masika, R HeLF Electronic Management of Assessment Survey
Report, 2013 http://w01.helfcms.wf.ulcc.ac.uk/projects.html
Nicol, David. and Macfarlane-Dick, Debra (2006) 'Formative assessment and self-regulated
learning: a model and seven principles of good feedback practice', Studies in Higher
Education, 31: 2, 199 — 218.
Rotheram, B http://sites.google.com/site/soundsgooduk/ Last accessed November, 2013
Sadler, D.R. (1989) Formative assessment and the design of instructional systems, Instructional
Science, 18, 119-144.
Salmon, G (2008) Podcasting for Learning in Universities, Open University Press
Dr Barbara Newland
Centre for Learning and Teaching
University of Brighton, Falmer, BN1 9PH