Dr Clare Carruthers Students attitudes towards feedback:Departmental experiences and reflections
Implementation Strategy for the UlsterPrinciples of A&F for learning Appointment of Departmental Champions Departmental Champion Workshops On-going Championing of the embedding of the Principles: Presentation to final years by Student Engagement Officer of UUSU In advance of the deadline for completion of the NSS Across two campuses
Focus:The “Focus on Feedback” UUSU designed leaflet No awareness of the “Focus on Feedback” guide; Issues surrounding understanding of terminology and assessment criteria; A disengagement with feedback; Recognition that feedback is only a mark and comments received some time after submission i.e. summative; No recognition of the various opportunities for engaging with feedback, in particular formative feedback; Students only recognised that they received feedback twice, maybe three times per semester; Lecturers recognise that they provide feedback perhaps as frequently as weekly.
No recognition of the following opportunities:• Tutorials to support preparation of upcoming seminars/presentations;• Verbal feedback provided immediately following presentations/seminars;• Weekly/fortnightly meetings supporting, reviewing and giving feedback for research papers/business plans;• Advice on the content/drafts of essays, projects, reports etc.;• No awareness that students could receive feedback on examinations;• Model answers.
Students were very familiar with the various different types of assessment, butwere far less familiar with these key aspects feedbackThe biggest issue was surrounding the terminology,if they don’t recognise they are receiving feedback, their experience of it and the translation of that to the NSS is obvious
Future Implementation “Focus on Feedback” guide available within Course Support Areas for every course in Blackboard Learn; Incorporation of the content of the guide within Study Skills module in year one; Engagement/debate with students on the various feedback mechanisms – what mechanisms do they like and why? Which are most useful to them? What mechanisms of feedback do they find most useful for different types of assessment? – students as change agents Innovation in feedback mechanisms – audio, podcasting, video, smartphone feedback etc.
Departmental project – Audio Feedback: Students as change agents Audio feedback provided to final year and second year students via Wimba Voice Authoring within the VLE Feedback was for individual essays Students advised that audio feedback was available and where Invited to comment on what they thought of this feedback mechanism
Most of these students had never had this opportunity to do this before Their comments were overwhelmingly positive: “I was able to read through the essay along “you can hear with the points you made. what areas of It did feel more personal your essay you than getting the written did well in and comments.” what areas you ”I was surprised that I was can improve comfortable with the new audio upon for future style feedback, it definitely was essay convenient for me, and that I was submissions, in able to gauge the lecturers relation to the feelings of my work as it was a content,private conversation rather than in structure and class” referencing”
“I found this form of feedback very interesting and found it encouraged me “I believe this form of to take on board the feedback is not only comments made, as extremely informative sometimes when directly but an easier way for reading comments I tend tostudents to understand just skim over them quickly where they picked up rather than actually takingmarks and lost marks in in what feedback has been their essay” given” “I found the audio feedback very useful as it was very accessible, high quality, easy to use, easy to understand, clear and concise. I feel that it is a very useful tool as I am able to go and listen to the feedback when I want so that I can keep up to date on where I am going wrong”
What they liked What they had about it: reservations about: Convenience; Deterioration in student- Effectiveness; teacher relationship; Constructive for future No immediate work; opportunity to ask questions/seek clarity Personalised; on points made; Flexibility in Accessing; Would also like to see Ability to re-access; written annotations on Ability to listen and read the actual hard copy of through work coursework. simultaneously.
Key Issues: Recognising that our understanding is not always the same as students’ understanding; Finding ways to reduce that gap and change attitudes and understanding; Engaging students with feedback; Students as change agents.
Experiences Elsewhere Experiences of other institutions? Is this an issue elsewhere? How is this being addressed elsewhere?