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Enhancing formative feedback in large cohort modules: a case study from CARBS by Cemil Selcuk Dept. of Economics Cardiff Business School.

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Presentation on theme: "Enhancing formative feedback in large cohort modules: a case study from CARBS by Cemil Selcuk Dept. of Economics Cardiff Business School."— Presentation transcript:

1 Enhancing formative feedback in large cohort modules: a case study from CARBS by Cemil Selcuk Dept. of Economics Cardiff Business School

2 Outline 1.Rankings: Feedback is a major issue. 2.This project: a controlled experiment 3.Survey results and some analysis

3 Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster Source: NSS – Teaching is OK Feedback is an issue..!

4 Large Modules Econ modules (Micro, Macro, Econometrics, Money and Banking etc.) are taken by other business majors. Providing feedback in large modules is a challenge. No magic solution..! Most modules have tutorials, with less than 20 students in each session. Idea: Involve TAs in the feedback process.

5 BS2550: Microeconomic Theory Module size: >180 students 14 Tutorials groups, students each. 3 TAs Students advised to solve questions before tutorials.

6 Feedback so far Oral feedback in lectures and tutorials. Answering questions via . Answers for past examinations. Whole-class general feedback sheets (after Jan exams)

7 A controlled experiment Treatment – 25% of students One TA committed to this: Submit your own solution before the tutorial and Ill return them in two weeks with corrections. Participation was voluntary; no actual grading. Control – 75% of students Remaining TAs did not practice this (did not have to).

8 From Students Perspective Voluntary participation; not graded. Real effort by students. No incentive to cheat, so, monitoring is not an issue. Self selection: students who care about feedback participate ( Reduces hateful outliers in surveys, will come back to this ).

9 From TAs perspective Not a lot of extra work because: A TA sees at most 50 students and not every student participates. Spread over two weeks. Nobody fights back for extra points. Corrections can be brief if time is short.

10 Survey Online survey at the end of the semester. About 25% of all students were treated. Question: Does the treatment make any difference on key feedback questions? -I have received helpful feedback on my work. -Feedback (generic or individual) has helped me clarify things I did not understand.

11 Results Seems to be working...!

12 Hateful Outliers 1 = I hate this course. Usually accompanied by other 1s. Occurs if service received falls below a certain threshold. Treatment improved the score by reducing/eliminating outliers

13 Distribution of Scores In the uncontrolled group there is a significant number of angry customers. Theyre the main reason why the average is low. Upper tails are alike = little difference in the number of happy customers. Angry Customers 34% in total

14 Distribution of Scores With the treatment the mass in the lower tail is eliminated and spread over. Improving the average significantly..!

15 Other Questions No difference in attendance to lectures or tutorials. Every student in the treatment group attempted to solve the questions. In the control group 26% did not make an attempt or, worse, did not even look at the questions.

16 Cardiffs New Feedback Policy` In line with the basic principles. A good example for feed-forward.

17 Suggestions if rolled out Applicable only if there are sufficiently many TAs. Compensation? TAs may need training. The objective is providing feedback; not marking. Should not have any weight in grading, –Monitoring becomes a serious issue. –Kills the incentive to put in own effort.

18 The End


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