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Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange Engaging students with assessment feedback Prof. Margaret Price, Director ASKe Centre for Excellence FDTL Engaging.

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Presentation on theme: "Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange Engaging students with assessment feedback Prof. Margaret Price, Director ASKe Centre for Excellence FDTL Engaging."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange Engaging students with assessment feedback Prof. Margaret Price, Director ASKe Centre for Excellence FDTL Engaging Students with assessment feedback ASKe Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

2 Purpose of Workshop Problems and responses Engagement with feedback Where to start Resources and effectiveness

3 We have a problem! Surveys and audits Research literature

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

5 Some responses to the feedback crisis: Provide more of the same Simplistic rules about timing Standardisation Label feedback Setting expectations Introducing new methods a complex problem so no simple solution

6 Exploring feedback (activity) What is its purpose? What counts as feedback? What can it achieve? How do you know it is working?

7 Student engagement with feedback Price et al (submitted)

8 Activity In 3s, discuss: How do you currently prepare students to understand and engage with feedback?

9 Where to start Preparation and setting expectations early in the programme Identifying feedback moments and application opportunities within the programme Emphasize the relational dimension of feedback Building in space for dialogue

10 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

11 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: Review resource allocations

12 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)

13 Peer marking using model answers (Forbes & Spence, 1991) Scenario: Engineering students had weekly maths problem sheets marked and problem classes Increased student numbers meant marking impossible and problem classes big enough to hide in Students stopped doing problems Exam marks declined (Average 55%>45%) Solution: Course requirement to complete 50 problem sheets Peer assessed at six lecture sessions but marks do not count Exams and teaching unchanged Outcome: Exam marks increased (Av. 45%>80%)

14 Peer feedback - Geography (Rust, 2001) Scenario Geography students did two essays but no apparent improvement from one to the other despite lots of tutor time writing feedback Increased student numbers made tutor workload impossible Solution: Only one essay but first draft required part way through course Students read and give each other feedback on their draft essays Students rewrite the essay in the light of the feedback In 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

15 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:

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

17 Figure 2: the use of 'exemplars' as a mechanism for encouraging dialogue about assessment criteria

18 Figure 3: Generic feedback and self critique

19 Activity Individually: 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

20 Feedback moments Where there is a clear opportunity to apply feedback Pre assessment Reflection points Identify them within each programme

21 Figure 4:Taking an overview

22 Refs Forbes, 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 Gibbs, G. & Simpson, C. (2002) Does your assessment support your students learning available at: (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 Hounsell, D 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: 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 McCune, V., (2004) Development of first –year students conceptions of essay writing. Higher Education, 47, pp Maclellan, E Assessment for learning, the different perceptions of tutors and students. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. 26, no.4: 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 ,2000 edited by \k \charnock, pp Rust, C. (2001) A briefing on assessment of large groups, LTSN Generic Centre Assessment Series, No. 12, York, LTSN Wotjas, O Feedback? No, just give us the answers. Times Higher Education Supplement. September 25

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