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Engaging students with assessment feedback. Prof. Margaret Price, Director ASKe Centre for Excellence FDTL Engaging Students with assessment feedback https://mw.brookes.ac.uk/display/eswaf/Home ASKe Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • Engaging students with assessment feedbackProf. Margaret Price, Director ASKe Centre for Excellence

    FDTL Engaging Students with assessment feedbackhttps://mw.brookes.ac.uk/display/eswaf/Home

    ASKe Assessment Standards Knowledge exchangeCentre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning


    Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange

  • Purpose of Workshop

    Problems and responses

    Engagement with feedback

    Where to start

    Resources and effectiveness

  • We have a problem! Surveys and auditsResearch literature

    Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange

  • Feedback problemsUnhelpful feedback (Maclellan, 2001)Too vague (Higgins, 2002)Subject to interpretation (Ridsdale, 2003)Not understood (e.g. Lea and Street, 1998)Dont read it (Hounsell, 1987. Gibbs & Simpson 2002)Damage self-efficacy (Wotjas, 1998)Has no effect (Fritz et al, 2000)Seen to be too subjective (Holmes & Smith, 2003)

    Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange

  • Some responses to the feedback crisis:Provide more of the same Simplistic rules about timingStandardisationLabel feedback

    Setting expectationsIntroducing new methods

    a complex problem so no simple solution

    Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange

  • Exploring feedback (activity)What is its purpose?

    What counts as feedback?

    What can it achieve?

    How do you know it is working?

    Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange

  • Student engagement with feedbackPrice et al (submitted)

    Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange

  • ActivityIn 3s, discuss:

    How do you currently prepare students to understand and engage with feedback?

    Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange

  • Where to start

    Preparation and setting expectations early in the programmeIdentifying feedback moments and application opportunities within the programmeEmphasize the relational dimension of feedback Building in space for dialogue

    Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange

  • What can we do? (1)Aligning expectations (of staff & students, & between teams of markers)

    Identify what is feasible in a given assessment context - written feedback can often do little more than diagnose development issues and then direct students to other resources for help and support

    Identifying all feedback available

    Ensure it is timely - quick and dirty generic feedback, feedback on a draft, MCQs & quizzes, etc. (using technology may help)

    Model and encourage the application of feedback

    Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange

  • What can we do? (2)Require and provide feedback on self-assessment

    Improve the linkage of assessment strategies across programmes and between modules/units

    Consider the role of marks - they obscure feedback

    Reduce over-emphasis on written feedback - oral can be more effective (McCune, 2004). Face to face feedback with 140 students (FDTL Case study: https://mw.brookes.ac.uk/display/eswaf/Home.

    Review resource allocations

    Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange

  • What can we do (3) Support the relational dimension of feedback Students say that relationships in which staff are supportive and approachable help them to engage Avoid anonymous marking

    Ensure associate (and permanent) staff have sufficient time and/or space

    Provide some continuity of staff contact (personal tutors)

    Provide opportunity for dialogue (e.g. discuss feedback in class, peer review, peer assisted learning)

    Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange

  • Peer marking using model answers (Forbes & Spence, 1991)Scenario:Engineering students had weekly maths problem sheets marked and problem classesIncreased student numbers meant marking impossible and problem classes big enough to hide inStudents stopped doing problemsExam marks declined (Average 55%>45%)Solution:Course requirement to complete 50 problem sheetsPeer assessed at six lecture sessions but marks do not countExams and teaching unchangedOutcome: Exam marks increased (Av. 45%>80%)

    Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange

  • Peer feedback - Geography (Rust, 2001)

    ScenarioGeography students did two essays but no apparent improvement from one to the other despite lots of tutor time writing feedbackIncreased student numbers made tutor workload impossible

    Solution:Only one essay but first draft required part way through courseStudents read and give each other feedback on their draft essaysStudents rewrite the essay in the light of the feedbackIn addition to the final draft, students also submit a summary of how the 2nd draft has been altered from the1st in the light of the feedback

    Outcome: Much better essays

    Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange

  • Peer feedback - Computing (Zeller, 2000*)The Praktomat system allows students to read, review, and assess each others programs in order to improve quality and style. After a successful submission, the student can retrieve and review a program of some fellow student selected by Praktomat. After the review is complete, the student may obtain reviews and re-submit improved versions of his program. The reviewing process is independent of grading; the risk of plagiarism is narrowed by personalized assignments and automatic testing of submitted programs. In a survey, more than two thirds of the students affirmed that reading each others programs improved their program quality; this is also confirmed by statistical data. An evaluation shows that program readability improved significantly for students that had written or received reviews.

    [*Available at: http://www.infosun.fim.unipassau.de/st/papers/iticse2000/iticse2000.pdf]

    Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange

  • Figure 1: Peer-review as a method of encouraging students to discuss and compare their understanding of assessment criteria

    Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange

  • Figure 2: the use of 'exemplars' as amechanism for encouraging dialogue about assessment criteria

    Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange

  • Figure 3: Generic feedback and self critique

    Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange

  • ActivityIndividually:

    Choose one or more specific ideas to improve feedback that you think you could use. In as much detail as possible, identify how you would put the idea/s into practice.

    In pairs:

    Take it in turns to explain your plans to your partner. The job for the listener is to be a friendly and constructive critic

    Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange

  • Feedback momentsWhere there is a clear opportunity to apply feedback

    Pre assessment

    Reflection points

    Identify them within each programme

    Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange

  • Figure 4:Taking an overview

    Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange

  • RefsForbes, D., & Spence, J. (1991). An experiment in assessment for a large class. In R.Smith (Ed.), Innovations in engineering education. London: Ellis Horwood.Fritz, C.O., Morris, P.E., Bjork, R.A., Gelman, R. & Wickens, T.D. (2000) When further learning fails: Stability and change following repeated presentation of text, British Journal of Psychology, 91, pp. 493-511Gibbs, G. & Simpson, C. (2002) Does your assessment support your students learning available at: http://www.brookes.ac.uk/services/ocsd/1_ocsld/lunchtime_gibbs.html (accessed November 2002)Higgins, R., Hartley, P. & Skelton, A. (2002) The conscientious consumer: reconsidering the role of assessment feedback in student learning. Studies in Higher Education, 27 (1) pp. 53-64 Hounsell, D. 1987. Essay writing and the quality of feedback. In J.T.E. Richardson, M.W. Eysenck & D. Warren-Piper, eds. Student Learning: Research in Education and Cognitive Psychology, 42, no.2: 239-54.Holmes, L. E., & Smith, L. J. (2003). Student evaluations of faculty grading methods. Journal of Education for Business, Vol. 78 No. 6, 318.Lea, M. & Street, B. (1998) Student Writing in Higher Education: an academic literacies approach. Studies in Higher Education, 23 (2), pp. 157-172McCune, V., (2004) Development of first year students conceptions of essay writing. Higher Education, 47, pp. 257-282.Maclellan, E. 2001. Assessment for learning, the different perceptions of tutors and students. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. 26, no.4: 307-318 Ridsdale, M.L.Ive read his comments but I dont 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. (2001) A briefing on assessment of large groups, LTSN Generic Centre Assessment Series, No. 12, York, LTSNWotjas, O. 1998. Feedback? No, just give us the answers. Times Higher Education Supplement. September 25

    Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange


    Forensic diagnosis


    Long term development

    What counts

    Written, oral, visual, kinestetic

    Personal, generic, vicarious

    What can it achieve

    Change in understandingChange in behaviourImprovement in performance


    Depends on the extent of engagement

    How do you know its working?

    Dependent on purposeImpact on learning difficult to measure Collection or engagement ?

    Preparation and setting expectations early in the programmeAligning expectations (of staff & students, & between teams of markers)Identifying all types of feedback available an