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Evaluating audio feedback for summative and formative assessment Derek France Kenny Lynch

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1 Evaluating audio feedback for summative and formative assessment Derek France ( Kenny Lynch (


3 Outline Objectives Brief context Chester examples Gloucestershire examples Examples Drawing it all together

4 In small groups assess your expectations of the benefits of podcasted feedback for staff and students In 2 minutes In small groups assess your expectations of the challenges for staff and students In 2 minutes

5 Objectives To evaluate podcasting for summative, formative and generic feedback To provide an evidence base for colleagues on how to integrate podcasted feedback into the curriculum

6 Assessment – central to the student experience: frames learning, creates learning activity and orients all aspects of learning behaviour (Gibbs, 2006, 23). Feedback – central to learning from assessment: feedback quantity and quality are the probably the most important factors in enhancing students learning (Race, 1999, 27). However: the literature on student experiences of feedback tells a sorry tale (Handley et al, 2007, 1). many students commented on cryptic feedback which often posed questions, but gave no indication of where they went wrong (GfK, 2008, 8) Brief context: assessment and feedback

7 Brief Context: Literature The modern day undergraduate entering University is more technological capable than ever before and has been defined as a digital native who has grown up with digital technology and is able to perform multiple tasks simultaneously (Prensky, 2001). Oblinger and Oblinger (2005) characterise modern students as the net generation who are digitally literate, highly Internet familiar, highly social, crave interactivity in image rich environments and dont think in terms of technology, they think in terms of activity which technology enables.

8 Greater focus on technology will produce real benefits for all (Department of Education and Skills, UK, 2005, p.2) HEFCE, UK (2009, p.6) more cautiously states that,focus should be on student learning rather than on developments in technology per se, enabling students to learn through, and be supported by technology Prensky (2009) now advocates Digital Wisdom and Digital Enhancement Brief Context: Literature

9 Model 1: Support Lectures Model 2: Support Fieldwork Model 5: Assessment Tool Screencasting, podcating lectures Lecture summaries Pre-lecture listening materials (complex concepts) iWalk: Location-based information Instruction on technique & equipment use Video footage prepare for field trip Model 4: Support Practical-based Learning Model 3: Support 3-Dimensional Learning Model 6: Provide Feedback Lecture recordings Digital Story-telling Anatomical Specimens (Structures, tissues, dissections) Software teaching & learning (replace text-based instructions) Student-created podcast based on field trips Student-created podcast to address climate change Model 7: Supplement Lectures Bring topical issues Guidance & tips Assessment tasks Supplement Online teaching Skills Development Models of Podcasting (Nie, 2007)

10 Purpose Extension To Lectures Support Fieldwork Support Practical Work Supplement Online Teaching Assessment Develop Students Study Skills Bring Topical Issues Convergence Developer Length Structure Reusability Medium Style Capacity Frequency Stand Alone LecturesTutorsStudentsSenior StudentsOthers (Experts) AudioVideo Integrated with VLE Temperate (Immediacy, Alive)Reusable Single SessionMultiple Sessions Short (10 minutes or less)Longer (10+) Formal (Lecture)Informal (Conversation, Discussion) Large Student CohortsSmall Groups of Students WeeklyFortnightlyMonthlyRegularly …… A Framework for Developing Podcast Content (Nie, 2007)

11 Chester examples

12 One year, 2008 – 2009: Two modules – Level 4 (69 students); Level 6 (34 students). One formative and summative assessment exercises (L6) & four generic large group feedback opportunities (L4). For each assignment: Summative (Sm) -generic overview commentary combined with bespoke feedback on the group presentation Formative (Fm) - informal podcast based on the e-postcard Sm and Fm sent to the feedback section of each students VLE-based e-portfolio Larger group generic feedback of four coursework assessments and placed in the online module space. The case study

13 Feedback portal within the institutional VLE Upload via modular e-learning areas Feedback Uploading & Tracking

14 Accessing the feedback

15 1. Pre-feedback questionnaire: Experience of podcasts; current views about feedback and expectations. (L4, 58, 90% response rate.) (L6, 28, 82% response rate.) 2.Post-feedback questionnaire: Engagement and perceptions. (L4, 30, 46% response rate.) (L6, 29, 85% response rate.) 3. Focus group discussions: Exploring emerging themes in more detail. (one at L6: 6 students; one at L4: 8 students.) Methods of evaluation

16 Prior experiences Confidence in using IT was high, over 90% of students) Pre university podcasting experience relatively low at 37% compared to final year students of 82% Prior negative feedback experiences L4, 17% and L6, 13%

17 Formative Feedback by N = 29

18 Summative Feedback N = 29

19 Generic Large Group Feedback N = 30

20 Summative versus Formative versus Generic All three forms of podcasted feedback were valued by students Formative was generally more appreciated than summative due to its potential immediacy to improve grade Feeding forward issues of summative feedback were also highlighted Large group generic feedback was appreciated, and students recommended that it should continue and is seen as better than front of class feedback (less embarassment).

21 Gloucestershire examples

22 Project aims GEES-funded small project November 2008 – March 2009, with the aims to: develop a straightforward procedure for creating and delivering audio feedback; follow a group of academics through the process of introducing audio feedback in a range of modules; and evaluate the experience

23 Project members Bill Burford (Landscape) James Kirwan (CCRI) Dave Milan (Geography) Chris Short (Geography) Claire Simmonds (Broadcast Journalism) Elisabeth Skinner (Community Development) Alan Howe (Social Work)

24 The project activities Levels 1 through 3 to M included On-campus and distance Class sizes ranged from 12 to 45 Essays, team-based papers, TV journalism package, E-mail, WebCT, Pebblepad All used for feeding back on summative assessments Purchased Sony ICD-UX80 Recorders

25 Staff responses Initially added to workload, but as become used to it, generally perceived as neutral [maximum?] Initial concern about content preparation, led to scripting, but gradually moved towards notes/marking sheets and spontaneous recording [skill development and confidence] Concerns about accuracy of delivery – mistakes were made in sending to students Need for careful management of the medium – tone of voice, intimacy, trust

26 Issues Quality – FASQ, mark moderating Security, privacy & identity – misdirected files, archive, anonymous marking, team-based feedback Handling grades – on recording or on work?

27 Future development More detailed capture of student responses – in relation to different experiences e.g. discipline, location (VLE, e-mail, e-portfolio), level Spread the approach – other disciplines, dissertation feedback? Possible audio template (lower entry barrier) Procedures for minimising misdirection

28 Student responses Overwhelmingly positive from the students – especially distance learners Even profoundly hearing impaired student Students described it as personal, intimate, well-thought out

29 Responsiveness to receiving information verbally: Dont just briefly read it, you actually listen to it and take it in. Novel, hearing voice 'goes in' better than just reading. Better, goes in more. Can remember feedback from podcast but not from written. Greater sensitivity to the spoken word: I liked the feedback for what it was, but I also found it a bit depressing. It was very personal… I felt I let you down. Any criticism will hit home more. May be harder to hear a poor mark, rather than in writing. [I am least looking forward to] hearing disappointment in their voices. Engagement with the feedback

30 The potential for more depth and detail: Over 70% of students commented on this… it felt really long. If youd written this out it would have felt like a whole book. I really got a lot out of it, though. Hearing your voice seems to make the course seem closer, less distance. More personalised: This feedback felt that the work had really been looked at and evaluated personally. I listened to this at home and it felt like you were in the room with me and I wasnt totally comfortable with that. More understandable? You get the tone of voice with the words so you could understand the importance of the different bits of feedback. Nature and content of the feedback

31 Action Plan What have I learnt? What I am going to do next? What 3 things can you feedback to colleagues?

32 Potential to do more harm than good? Accepted characteristics of good feedback (irrespective of method of delivery)… Facilitates the development of self assessment (reflection) in learning Encourages teacher and peer dialogue around learning Helps clarify what good performance is (goals, criteria, expected standards). Provides opportunities to close the gap between current and desired performance Delivers high quality information to student about their learning Encourages positive motivational beliefs and self esteem Provides information to teachers that can be used to help shape the teaching. Juwah et al (2004)

33 Opportunity to diversify assessment feedback strategies. Adherence to well-established guidance on assessment design/timing and feedback content/style remains critical. If used strategically, potential to enhance learning from assessment. The potential to engage students with podcasted feedback irrespective of group size. Conclusion

34 Further sources of information

35 Gibbs, G. (2006). How assessment frames student learning. In C. Bryan and K. Clegg (Eds.), Innovative Assessment in Higher Education (pp 23-36). London: Routledge. GfK (2008) NUS/ HSBC Students Research. GfK Financial London, Study Number 154021 Handley, K., Szwelnik, A., Ujma, D., Lawrence, L., Millar, J. & Price. M. (2007). When less is more: Students experiences of assessment feedback. Paper presented at the Higher Education Academy Annual Conference, July 2007. Retrieved June 5, 2008 from Juwah, C, Macfarlane-Dick, D, Matthew, B, Nicol, D, Ross D., & Smith, B (2004) Enhancing the Student Learning through effective formative feedback. Higher Education Academy, York. _senlef_guide.pdf _senlef_guide.pdf Nie, M. (2007). Podcasting for GEES Subjects. Paper presented at the IMPALA 2 workshop, Dec 2007. Retrieved June 5, 2008 from 0Nie 0Nie Race, P. (1999). Enhancing student learning. Birmingham: SEDA. Salmon, G. & Edrisingha, P. (2008). Eds. Podcasting for Learning in Universities. Maidenhead: Open University Press. Including companion website: References

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