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TIMELY AND LEGIBLE Student preferences on procedural aspects of feedback Sabine Bohnacker-Bruce Learning and Teaching Fellow Faculty of Business, Law and.

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Presentation on theme: "TIMELY AND LEGIBLE Student preferences on procedural aspects of feedback Sabine Bohnacker-Bruce Learning and Teaching Fellow Faculty of Business, Law and."— Presentation transcript:

1 TIMELY AND LEGIBLE Student preferences on procedural aspects of feedback Sabine Bohnacker-Bruce Learning and Teaching Fellow Faculty of Business, Law and Sport University of Winchester

2 Background to Research Student ratings of satisfaction with feedback are consistently lower than other teaching and learning elements within the UK higher education sector. However, reasons for this dissatisfaction are often unclear to teaching staff, who believe their students are receiving timely, extensive and informative feedback. Robinson, Pope and Holyoak (2011, p2)

3 Caveat …measures such as timing, frequency, quantity or externally judged product quality can only indicate that some of the conditions for effective feedback are in place. They cannot prove that feedback is effective. Price et al (2010, p287)

4 Methodology DATA COLLECTION Pilot focus group Online questionnaire (via SurveyMonkey) Three further focus groups PARTICIPANTS Focus groups: Y2/3 students from different departments Questionnaire: sent to all students in the Faculty

5 Questionnaire responses Sent to approx.1300 students in the faculty 135 students (10.3%) accessed questionnaire 114 (8.7%) completed the questionnaire 79% female - 21% male 24.6% Year % Year % Year 3 4.4% postgraduate students

6 Legibility Q: Are you able to read hand-written feedback? 7.3%Yes, handwritten feedback is no problem for me 61.8% Depends on the lecturer but it's okay most of the time 26.8%I struggle quite often to work it out 4.1% I usually can't decipher it

7 Legibility To be useful it is important that feedback can be easily read. The majority of feedback provided to these students is hand-written rather than electronic. Results indicate that 71.1% of our students report that their feedback is always or usually legible. However, this does indicate that approximately 30% (or 50 students) in our sample felt that sometimes the feedback that they receive is not legible, which is of concern. Robinson, Pope and Holyoak (2011, p5)

8 Legibility Q: How would you like to receive written feedback? 42.3% Hand-written on relevant sections of assignment 25.2% Typed on cover sheet 13.0% Electronically 9.8% Set out in a table against the marking scheme 4.1% Hand written on cover sheet only

9 Legibility I have no preference between typed or handwritten feedback as long as it is legible. Strongly Agree AgreeNeither/ Nor DisagreeStrongly Disagree Rating Average 2. All feedback should be typed to ensure legibility 39.8%37.3%17.8%5.1%0.0% I dont mind hand- written feedback 10.3%42.2%21.6%17.2%8.6%3.28

10 Timeliness 1. What do you think is the ideal time frame to make feedback on the following assignments most effective? 2. What time frame for feedback would you consider acceptable and realistic, taking into account the needs of both students and staff, and the size of your module groups?

11 Timeliness Timing does not matter to me 3 days or fewer 4-7 days1-2 weeks2-3 weeks3-4 weeks Q1: Ideal Mid-module written assignment 5.7%6.5%28.5%49.6%9.8%0.0% Presentation1.6%39.0%30.9%23.6%4.9%0.0% Group work4.9%13.8%32.5%39.0%9.8%0.0% Final assignment4.9%8.9%12.2%37.4%26.0%10.6% Q2: Acceptable Mid-module written assignment 1.6%2.4%10.6%49.6%34.1%1.6% Presentation1.6%19.5%27.6%35.8%13.8%1.6% Group work4.1%6.5%13.8%39.0%35.0%1.6% Final assignment1.6%2.4%8.1%18.7%46.3%22.8%

12 Timeliness This study also finds an almost exact agreement from participants with McDonalds (1991) view of two weeks being the maximum amount of time that students are prepared to wait before receiving feedback... there is a psychological period of time beyond which feedback begins to lose its effect, and…students appear very clear as to what this period of time is. Brown, 2007, p45

13 Timeliness 3. How quickly do you usually receive feedback for your various assignments? 4. After what period of time do you think written feedback becomes irrelevant? 38%When the next assignment has been handed in 4% 1-2 weeks 10% 2-3 weeks 21%3-4 weeks 15%4-6 weeks 11%Time does not matter

14 Student comments Sometimes feedback from one assignment is too late to have a sufficient amount of time to make it effective. Some assignments do come back too late to influence the next one. I think it is important that assignments or at least feedback from them needs to be returned to students before their next assignment is due in order for them to read and work on the areas for improvement highlighted in feedback.

15 Timely vs. short-termist Most students, even when they did see the feed-forward function of feedback, took a more short-termist view than staff of the timeframe in which they could apply the feedback. The consequence of this difference was that students often considered feedback from staff to be vague and ambiguous because they could not immediately apply it to another piece of work. Instead, students were often looking for explicit instructions about how to do better next time, and much feedback did not conform to this wish. Price et al, 2010, p285

16 Individualised Explored preferences re: oral/written and individual/group/peer feedback Forthcoming article in Capture due in January

17 References Bohnacker-Bruce, S. ( 2011). What is effective feedback: The academic perspective. Capture Vol 3, 2011, 7-14 Brown, J. (2007). Feedback: The student perspective. Research in Post- Compulsory Education 12 (1), 33–51 Price, M., Handley, K., Millar, J. & O'Donovan, B. (2010). Feedback: all that effort, but what is the effect?, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 35(3), Robinson, S., Pope, D. & Holyoak, L. (2011). Can we meet their expectations? Experiences and perceptions of feedback in first year undergraduate students, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, DOI: / , p1-13

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