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LLB student perceptions of assessment and feedback: lessons from the National Student Survey
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LLB student perceptions of assessment and feedback: lessons from the National Student Survey


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Slides for the presentation by Lisa Webley (University of Westminster) at the Learning in Law Annual Conference 2011.

Slides for the presentation by Lisa Webley (University of Westminster) at the Learning in Law Annual Conference 2011.

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  • 1. LLB Student Perceptions of Assessment and Feedback: Lessons from the National Student SurveyA UKCLE Commissioned Project
    Dr. Lisa Webley
  • 2. Presentation
    This paper provides details of a study that is in its early stages.
    It is an empirical study that has been commissioned by the UKCLE.
    The purpose of the presentation is:
    to make people aware of the project and to hear views on the proposed methods to be used;
    to allow any institutions that wish to participate in the study to express an interest in doing so.
    Please feel free to ask questions or make comments at any point in the presentation.
  • 3. Context
    The increased focus on the student experience and in particular students’ experiences of assessment and feedback on LLB programmes (in part due to NSS results);
    Some law schools requesting assistance from the UKCLE with assessment and feedback issues;
    The UKCLE wish to facilitate the exchange of good practice in approaches to LLB assessment and feedback, and for the good practice to be derived from student input as well as academic staff input.
  • 4. Project Aims
    To examine student perceptions of assessment and feedback;
    To examine LLB assessment and feedback models in a range of UK law schools;
    To examine (qualitatively) any apparent relationships between student perceptions and models or practices employed;
    To work with law schools that have asked for support, in light of the findings from the project;
    To disseminate findings more widely .
  • 5. Method
    The starting point is the NSS data from questions 5-9 from the two NSS studies:
    5. Feedback on my work has helped me clarify things I did not understand;
    6. I have received detailed comments on my work;
    7. Feedback on my work has been prompt;
    8. Assessment arrangements and marking have been fair;
    9. The criteria used in marking have been clear in advance.
  • 6. Whose Views?
    A small group of final year full-time LLB students in each institution to be interviewed in small group interview format;
    A nominated academic staff member in each institution- ideally someone involved in learning, teaching and assessment policy in the school.
    Drawn from c. 20 institutions from around the UK.
  • 7. Sample of Institutions
    Ideally I should like:
    Some institutions that have scored highly to date on questions 5-9 on the NSS;
    Some institutions that have scored poorly;
    Some institutions that are interested in participating regardless of ranking.
    I am not seeking a ‘representative sample’ in any quantitative sense but rather a valid sample i.e. one that includes a range of types of institutions as well as reported student experiences.
  • 8. Identification of Potential Participant Law Schools
    Taken the law schools that appear in the top or bottom 15 for each question, as regards student agreement with the statements in questions 5-9.
    Identified how many times they appear in the top or bottom 15 and ranked them accordingly.
    Selected a sample of those that appear the most frequently in both NSS years. Along with a small number that have dropped out of the top or have moved over time.
    I’m also seeking expressions of interest from any other school that would like to participate.
  • 9. NSS Data on Assessment and Feedback
    This is a useful starting point for identifying a sample of potential participating institutions even though the responses may be influenced by responding sample sizes etc.
    The data reveals a surprising (for me at least) diversity in institution type within the top 15 in the NSS questions 5-9.
  • 10. Participant Law Schools Identified
    Consistently in the top 15 (for FT provision):
    Queen Mary; Greenwich; Buckingham; Sunderland; Teeside; Newcastle; Glamorgan (new in in 209-10); Derby (still in top 15 but dropped places).
    NSS high scorers but change over the two years:
    Moved down and out of the top 15: Cambridge; Dundee; Gloucester; Stirling.
    Moved up: QUB; Birmingham City; Sheffield.
  • 11.
  • 12. What questions would you want students to be asked?
    Their views on questions 5-9 and why they feel the way they do?
    What they identify as feedback, or useful feedback?
    What they consider its purpose to be – a justification for the mark awarded, assistance for future assessments, a hybrid, something else?
    How prepared they feel for their assessments?
    Views on different assessment models?
    Views on methods of submission for coursework?
    What they really enjoy or what really works for them by way of assessment and feedback in their school?
    What really irritates them?!