Improving ‘creative’ bibliographies
Mairwen Owen, Bangor University, email@example.com
In September 2013 I started a PGCertHE course. One of the workshops I attended was on the subject of
developing student motivation through providing effective feedback. A number of concepts were discussed I
found one of particular interest. The concept was where students look at examples of work submitted in previous
years and mark them and provide feedback using the assessment criteria. This was of particular interest as I had
been looking at ways to improve the assessment results of a first year cohort, on the Skills for Learning module.
During the last academic year I worked with first year Social Science students on a Skills for Learning module.
Part of their module assessment was to produce a bibliography of ten items on a subject in the area of domestic
violence. They also had to produce a reflective statement on how they evaluated the resources listed on their
bibliography. Students did not have any particular issues with relflective statement, but the bibliography proved a
problem. Despite providing the students with guidelines they still submitted ‘creative’ bibliographies.
This year, in my final session with the group, after discussing the assignment, I divided the class into pairs. Each
pair was given one past bibliogaphy assignment paper to mark and grade. Using the School’s referencing
guidelines as well as a marking criteria each pair had to be ‘me’ marking the paper. Each pair had to report back
give their mark and justify the mark given. We then as a class, identified common errors.
The students engaged well in the session. There was a great deal of discussion and requests for more scripts to
mark. Students commented that they now understood what was expected of them and realised how easy it was
to lose marks for creating shoddy bibliographies. There was a definite improvement in the work submitted and no
more ‘creative’ bibliographies.