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Feedback to students about academic writing_INTEGRITY Project


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This presentation - delivered to partners on the INTEGRITY project - provides some guidance to academic faculty on the theory and practice of providing feedback to students on academic writing. Prepared and delivered by Dr Laura Costelloe and Dr Mark Glynn, Teaching Enhancement Unit at Dublin City University. Incorporates material from the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning and the Y1 Feedback Project.

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Feedback to students about academic writing_INTEGRITY Project

  1. 1. Feedback to students about academic writing Dr Laura Costelloe Dr Mark Glynn
  2. 2. Overview Linking assessment and feedback: assessment as and for learning Sources of Feedback: Self-assessment Peer feedback Teacher feedback: written, audio and audio-visual
  3. 3. Linking assessment and feedback: assessment as and for learning Assessment of learning: completing assessment to demonstrate learning. Assessment for learning: using assessment to give feedback on teaching and student learning. Assessment as learning: student empowerment and engagement to become a better learner. (National Forum, 2016)
  4. 4. The importance of feedback Timely and effective feedback can: -correct errors, and close the gap between current and desired performance; -identify strengths and weaknesses; -build student confidence and motivation; and -foster self-regulated learning. (Hounsell, 2003; Hattie and Timperley, 2007; Sadler, 2010; Carless et al, 2011; Merry et al, 2013)
  5. 5. Feedback has traditionally been conceived of as originating from the teacher, and primarily comprising written commentary on end of module, and in most cases graded, assignments (Nicol 2010, Carless 2013) More contemporary perspectives however consider feedback not only as it relates to assessment, but also highlight the importance of cultivating feedback in settings beyond the formal evaluation of learning (Boud and Associates 2010, Carless et al. 2011, McArthur and Huxham 2013, Sambell 2013, Hounsell 2015, Sambell 2015)
  6. 6. Recent research also calls for a reconceptualisation of feedback that goes beyond the transmission of information from teacher to student, and instead frames feedback as a dialogic process that ultimately supports learners to become self-regulating (Hounsell 2007, Sadler 2010, Nicol 2010, Carless et al. 2011, Price et al. 2013) The reframing of feedback as dialogue means that the teacher is no longer the sole provider of feedback. Instead, a student’s peers, and ultimately his or her self, become important additional feedback sources (Yang and Carless 2013, Nicol, Thomson and Breslin 2014) Contemporary perspectives also point to the affordances that technology might generate in supporting provision of feedback that goes beyond written commentary [Quotations taken from Y1 Feedback, 2016] (Carless 2015)
  7. 7. Sources of Feedback on Academic Writing Self-Assessment Peer Feedback Teacher Feedback: written, audio and audio-visual How many of these sources of feedback are you familiar with or use in your own teaching practice?
  8. 8. Self Assessment - Self-assessment is a process of formative assessment during which students reflect on the quality of their work, judge the degree to which it reflects explicitly stated goals or criteria, and revise their work accordingly (Andrade & Boulay, 2003); - Because self-assessment and self regulation involve students in thinking about the quality of their own products and processes rather than relying on their teacher as the sole source of evaluative judgments (or getting no feedback at all), they are key elements of formative assessment (Andrade, 2010); - Guided checklists, prompts or questions to allow learners to assess their performance on a task; - Can be integrated with peer and/or tutor marking.
  9. 9. Example from the University of Reading, Department of Esoteric Studies (link here)
  10. 10. Example from Simon Fraser University (link here)
  11. 11. Short self paced course Can you foresee any challenges associated with using self- assessment as a feedback mechanism for academic writing?
  12. 12. (Wride, 2017a)
  13. 13. Guidelines for good practice in self- assessment (adapted from Wride, 2017a) Peer feedback is used as part of the process Staff are willing to share control of assessment: students are involved in establishing criteria and have a direct role in influencing the process and guidelines produced for each stage of the process The motive for self- assessment is to enhance student learning Self-assessment is one of a number of complementary strategies to promote self-directed learning that is integrated throughout a module/programme
  14. 14. Peer Assessment and Feedback - Involves students judging and making decisions about the work of their fellow students against criteria; can be formatively (for feedback) or summatively (for grades); - Research suggests that students need support (guidelines/templates etc.) and practice - giving and receiving feedback is not an innate skill (Egan and Costelloe, 2016); - Can be done face-to-face or online, depending on the context.
  15. 15. Example from Brandeis University (link here)
  16. 16. Peer feedback guide and sample template from York University (link here)
  17. 17. Peer feedback template from Plymouth University (link here)
  18. 18. Enabling Peer Feedback 3.10
  19. 19. Some ideas for implementing peer assessment and feedback (adapted from Wride, 2017b) Share draft assessments before they are submitted; peer-peer discussion can significantly enhance learning Consider using online tools to support peer feedback, e.g. students post their essay online and then receive feedback from peers to help with revising their writing Exchange notes during the class: students look for perceived gaps and differences in understanding Students can work in groups to provide feedback on assignment drafts, using the assessment criteria to guide the feedback provided to each other
  20. 20. Teacher feedback: written, audio and audio-visual Feedback is one most powerful influences on learning gain (Hattie & Timperley, 2007)
  21. 21. Consider using technology to provide feedback to learners Some feedback tools: Voicethread: Interactive collaboration and sharing tool that enables users to add images Audacity: Free, easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows and Mac Screencast-o-matic: Easy-to-use, free screen recorder for Windows and Mac Google Docs and Google Drive: Easy to share documents, audio and video, comments can be added easily Turnitin: Audio and written feedback can be provided using the rubrics and comment tools For guides on how to use many of these tools see:
  22. 22. Feedback using Moodle Marking Guide 3.17
  23. 23. Screencasting for Large group feedback 3.43
  24. 24. Using Screencasting to close the Feedback Loop 3.24
  25. 25. What types of feedback do you provide to your learners? What feedback tools do you use? Will you try any new tools to give learners feedback on their academic writing?
  26. 26. Contact us
  27. 27. Works Cited ● Andrade, H.L. (2010). ‘Students as the definitive source of formative assessment: academic self-assessment and the self-regulation of learning’ NERA Conference Proceedings, 25 [online]. Available at: ● Andrade, H. and Boulay, B. (2003) ‘Role of rubric-referenced self-assessment in learning to write’ The Journal of Educational Research, 97(1): pp.21-30. ● Carless, D., Salter, D., Yang, M. and Lam, J. (2011) ‘Developing sustainable feedback practices’ Studies in Higher Education, 36(4): pp.395-407. ● Egan, A. and Costelloe, L. (2016) ‘Peer assessment of, for and as learning: a core component of an accredited professional development course for Higher Education teachers’ AISHE-J: The All-Ireland Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 8(3): pp. 2931-29313. ● Hattie, J. and Timperley, H. (2007) ‘The power of feedback’, Review of Educational Research 77(1): pp.81-112. ● Hounsell, D. (2003) ‘Student feedback, learning and development’ IN: Slowey, M. And Watson, D. (eds.) Higher Education And The Lifecourse. Maidenhead: SRHE and Open University Press: pp.67-78. ● Merry, S., Price, M., Carless, D. and Taras, M. (2013) Reconceptualising Feedback in Higher Education: developing dialogue with students. Routledge. ● National Forum (2016) ‘Assessment OF, FOR and AS learning: continuing the debate and creating a focus’ [online]. Available at: ● Sadler, D.R. (2010) ‘Beyond feedback: developing student capability in complex appraisal’ Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 35(5): pp.535-550. ● Wride, M. (2017a) ‘Guide to self-assessment’ [online]. Available at ● Wride, M. (2017b) Guide to peer assessment’ [online]. Available at: