Feedback to students Rosalind Duhs Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching (CALT) This document is licensed under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales license, available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/.
Seminar intended learning outcomes
After the seminar, participants are expected to be able to:
Formulate broad definitions of feedback to promote student learning
Facilitate and encourage student use of feedback
Provide students with useful feedback in diverse ways.
Definitions of feedback 1
Written comments on written work
Definitions of feedback 2
A dialogue (written and/or spoken) with a learner which provides information on the quality of work with advice on how to develop and improve
A dialogic feedback system
Broadening conceptions of feedback
Every opportunity a student has to find out about their level of knowledge, understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes can be seen as feedback.
Useful feedback does not always have to come from tutors.
Transparent definitions of feedback
Ensure that students:
work with broader definitions of feedback
know how they will get feedback
integrate processes for acting on feedback into their study patterns
Facilitate and encourage student use of feedback
The traditional pattern of feedback
Traditional pattern: tutor student
Student does work.
Student looks at mark.
Student does not always study comments.
Student may not understand comments.
Feedback pattern to engage students 1
Student does work and comments on it.
Student submits draft and/or works on draft with peer review and tutor check .
Student improves work.
Student submits work to tutor for marking and feedback.
Student studies feedback.
Student plans follow-up action.
Feedback pattern to engage students 2
Self Assessment Peer Assessment Draft and redraft Tutor Assessment Feedback action plan Rosalind Duhs 2010
The dialogic feedback system Rosalind Duhs 2010 TUTOR PEERS STUDENT STUDENT
Why a dialogue?
To engage students
To encourage awareness of learning
To promote ’ time on task’
To help students develop insight into what is required of them
To work as we do when we disseminate our research Why can’t students work in this way?
We check the criteria for submissions to journals
We ensure that we are meeting criteria
We ask colleagues to read our draft papers
OR we work in research teams (peer assessment)
We get feedback from journals and revise our work (similar to feedback on drafts from tutors)
Embed feedback and promote student understanding of how work is assessed Figure: Berry O’Donovan & Chris Rust ASKe Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, (Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange) Oxford Brookes University
Use assessment criteria and related exemplars to promote understanding of feedback
Provide students with useful feedback in diverse ways
Main conditions for useful feedback (Sadler 1989)
Knowledge of what constitutes a good performance
Knowledge of how the current performance relates to a good performance
Skills to act to close the gap between the current and a good performance
Useful feedback: the student perspective
Students often find it difficult to understand feedback (Lea and Street, 1998)
Feedback appears vague (Higgins, 2000)
Language is impenetrable (Lea and Street, 1998; Ridsdale 2000)
Difficulty understanding comments
‘… phrases such as ‘deeper analysis required’ often mean very little to students and are, in fact, open to misinterpretation.’
Write a brief summary of your view of the assignment
Balance negative with positive comments
Use constructive criticism to provide positive suggestions for improvement
Ask questions which encourage reflection about the work
Explain all your comments
Tutor feedback for learning 1
Tutor feedback for learning 2 (‘feedforward’)
Suggest follow-up work and references
Suggest specific ways to improve the assignment
Explain the mark or the grade and why it is not better or worse
Offer help with specific problems
Offer the opportunity to discuss the assignment and your comments.
Gibbs, G, and Habeshaw, T, Preparing to Teach: An introduction to effective teaching in higher education
Focus on what is most likely to have greatest benefit
Give students something digestible (right for their level) to work on
Draft and redraft using Turnitin
Use a Turnitin (plagiarism detection tool)
co-ordinator and advisers
Aim – promote student understanding of how to write without unintentional plagiarism
Students are free to submit and resubmit to Turnitin
‘ Patch writing’ is a stage of development as students learn academic writing.
Norms regarding referencing can vary internationally
Use IT (eg Moodle) for feedback and questionnaires and quizzes for learning
Use a virtual learning environment for embedded video and follow-up quizzes for feedback to prepare students for lab work.
Upload general feedback about a piece of work. Refer to paragraphs for individual feedback on texts.
Feedback short cuts 1
Work electronically and ’paste’ in comments from a separate file
Use a handout with numbered comments. Write the number where you want to comment.
Feedback shortcuts 2
Differentiate between style- or method-related and content comments, eg use letters for style and re-use, including examples. Use numbers for comments on content.
Sound-record comments. Audio feedback is well-received by students. See this JISC-funded project
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 , 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 teaching. (SENLEF)
Conclusion The seven principles of good feedback
Higgins, R. (2000). “Be more critical”: Rethinking assessment feedback . Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association Conference, Cardiff University, September 7-10. http://www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/documents/00001548.htm
Lea, M. & Street, B. (1998) Student Writing in Higher Education: an academic literacies approach. Studies in Higher Education , 23 (2), pp. 157-172
Ridsdale, M.L.“I’ve read his comments but I don’t know how to do”:International postgraduate student perceptions of written supervisor feedback. In ‘ Sources of confusion : refereed proceedings of the national language and academic skills conference held at La Trobe University, November 27-28,2000’ edited by k charnock, pp272-282.
Rust, C, Price, M. & O’Donovan, B. (2003) Improving students’ learning by developing their understanding of assessment criteria and processes, Assessment and Evaluation . 28, 147-164.
Sadler, D. R. (1989). Formative assessment and the design of instructional systems. Instructional Science , 18 , 119-144.