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Getting through the darkest days: Student experiences of feedback Diana Rugyendo, Kelly Wakefield, Julie Wintrup and Kirsten Wythe RAISE conference, University.

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Presentation on theme: "Getting through the darkest days: Student experiences of feedback Diana Rugyendo, Kelly Wakefield, Julie Wintrup and Kirsten Wythe RAISE conference, University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Getting through the darkest days: Student experiences of feedback Diana Rugyendo, Kelly Wakefield, Julie Wintrup and Kirsten Wythe RAISE conference, University of Southampton, 13 th /14 th September 2012

2 Never too late to learn (Million+) Mature entry to university has risen …from approximately 10% of all graduates and diploma holders in 1984 to nearly a third of the undergraduate student body today. There were 429,460 mature undergraduates –…..– studying for first degrees at UK universities in 2009– 10 and these students represented 30.2% of all first- degree undergraduates 2

3 We will discuss: Outreach to mature learners (KW) What does the evidence tell us about their experience of feedback? The broader evidence base (KW) Findings from our own study (JW) Personal experiences (DR) Where does this lead us? 3

4 Outreach - Learn with US

5 Community Outreach Particular focus on the following groups who are under represented in higher education: –Care leavers –Black and minority ethnic students –Mature students –Disabled students 5

6 Community Outreach Work with staff and students across the University, and in collaboration with external organisations to: promote Higher Education through a range of activities and events for target groups maximise the quality of opportunities and experiences develop materials/resources for specific target groups enhance existing support programmes/activities 6

7 Mature Students Tailored talks for mature/access students at local colleges Attending information events for mature students Visit day(s) for access students Drop in events during welcome week Survey students – pre-application and post-enrolment 7

8 What does the evidence tell us about their experience of feedback? 8

9 Broader Evidence What is feedback for? –To promote reflection as part of a cycle of learning (Kitchener, 1986; Kolb, 1984) Why does it matter? –Feedback is an integral feature of effective learning and can be one of the most powerful ways to enhance and strengthen student learning (Hepplestone et al, 2010) Often used to compare standards and expectations in order to evaluate the quality of assessed work (Cann, 2012) Used correctly, feedback can have a very powerful effect on learning (Hattie and Timperley, 2007) 9

10 Broader Evidence…cont. Current issues… Feedback is often used ineffectively e.g. the practice of disengaging marks from feedback to promote student learning is rarely put into practice (Cann, 2012) Traditional and current practices of providing feedback are no longer effective (Bloxham and Boyd, 2007; Hounsell, 2008) Students do not exploit assessment to improve their learning (Maclellan, 2001) Modularisation has seen 'bunching' of assessment limiting assessment practices that feed-forward (Price and O'Donovan, 2008) 10

11 Broader Evidence…cont. From the students point of view… Large (Hounsell & Entwistle, 2007) and small scale (Crook et al, 2006) studies into the student experience of assessment and feedback Negative impact on the student experience of feedback (Hepplestone et al, 2010) National Student Survey (HEFCE, 2007) highlighted dissatisfaction by students with the adequacy of the feedback in terms of timing and usefulness (Mutch, 2003) 11

12 Broader Evidence…cont. From the postgraduate students point of view… Students were most positive about their experiences with supervision and about understanding the standard of work expected (HEA, Postgraduate Research Experience Survey, 2011) Yet, assessment and feedback received the least positive ratings (HEA, Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey, 2012) 12

13 Broader Evidence…cont. From the academics point of view… Feedback does not work (Weaver, 2006) Students do not act on feedback (Mutch, 2003) See feedback as a justification of grade (Price and O'Donovan, 2008) Students driven by the motivation of the mark, only engaging with feedback if it provides correct answers (Higgins et al, 2002) 13

14 Broader Evidence…cont. However… Feedback supports student learning and that students respond to feedback in different ways and at different times (Price and O'Donovan, 2008) And… Students' perceptions of the value of feedback in higher education are under-researched calling for further investigation (Weaver, 2006; Rowe and Wood, 2007) 14

15 Broader Evidence…cont. Future of feedback… Computer-based assessment-software delivers formative feedback, however validity queried (Gipps, 2005) By email (Bloxham & Boyd, 2007) Internet or VLE (Denton et al, 2008) Podcasted feedback (France and Ribchester, 2008) Google+ (Cann, 2012) 15

16 Broader Evidence…cont. Finally… Feedback on students' work is one of the few really responsive aspects of teaching. Pertinent feedback that leads to improved work can be offered by any institution that invests in a high-quality education. Are we prepared to follow the evidence? (Boud, 2012) 16

17 Are there particular feedback issues for mature learners? 17

18 In interviews over three years, students talked of: Helping each other The difficult times Feedback as sustaining Becoming critical Forthcoming: Wintrup, James, Humphris & Bryson, JARHE-Feb- 2012 Emotional work: students realising, negotiating and overcoming barriers. 18

19 Helping each other 19

20 a couple of people on my course were going I dont want to do this anymore, Im going to give up… (enacts) Oh no you dont give up! Youre not! and you sort of help them out there... 20

21 The friends, or colleagues, that I was on the course with, we all supported each other. We used to thrash things out. Outside of work, in our own time Its nice because if ever you feel you are falling back, or you miss something, you know someone else is going to be there to help you and bring you back up 21

22 They reported… A lack of confidence in academic work and processes Poor school experiences Subsequent achievements / sense of self worth threatened by return to school, memories of earlier traumas / negative attitudes 22

23 I remember being written off quite early... I think that stays with you and that carried on... and that was nurtured by the feedback, you know when you get feedback and its positive, andif you did this then you would bring your mark up then you can realise... and that sort of drove me on really... 23

24 Feedback as sustaining 24

25 ... and the lecturer had written it is obvious you find this very difficult to write, and you will make a very good (professional). So Im trying to hold on to these bits, to get me through, because I was, at different times, very, very upset... and certainly, if I hadnt had those two placements, and with that recommendation from the (professional) in that school I think youll be a really good (professional), I would have given up by now 25

26 The difficult second year 26

27 The second year... was hard. Stressful, because I was still working, and the assignments I found, were much more in- depth, and the memories I have first and foremost, being in tears most of the time, saying I cant do this. Well actually I couldnt do it 27

28 ….and the alienating effect of poor communication… 28

29 Three of us, weve had to really fight for it, for the course really, just to get from lectures to seminars to everything else...and weve had to fight for was so annoying, it was so, that, I nearly gave up 29

30 What are the opportunities presented by the evidence? 30

31 Broader Evidence…cont. References Bloxham, S. and Boyd, P. (2007) Developing Effective Assessment in Higher Education. Berkshire: Open University Press Boud, D. (2012) A Transformative Activity. THE, 6 th September 2012. Cann, A. (2012) An efficient and effective system for interactive student feedback using Google+ to enhance an institutional virtual learning environment. Leicester Research Archive, University of Leicester. Crook, C., Gross, H. and Dymott, R. (2006). Assessment relationships in higher education: the tension of process and practice. British Educational Research Journal, 32(1), pp. 95-114 Gipps, C. V. (2005). What is the role for ICT-based assessment in universities? Studies in Higher Education, 30(2), pp. 171-180 Hattie, J. and Timperley, H. (2007) The power of Feedback. Review of Educational Research, 77, pp. 81-112 31

32 Broader Evidence…cont. References…cont. Hepplestone, S., Parkin, H., Irwin, B., Holden, G., Thorpe, L. and Burn, C. (2010) Using technology to help students engage with their feedback: A best practice guide for academic staff. Higgins, R., Hartley, P. and 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. (2008). The Trouble with Feedback. TLA Interchange. Available at: Hounsell, D. and Entwistle, N. (2007). Learning and Teaching at University: The Influence of Subjects and Settings. (Teaching and Learning Research Briefings, no. 31). London: ESRC Teaching and Learning Research Programme. Available at: Kitchener, R. (1986) Piaget's theory of knowledge. Yale University Press, New Haven Kolb, D. (1984) Experiential Learning. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs Maclellan, E. (2001). Assessment for learning: the differing perceptions of tutors and students. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 26(4), pp. 307-318 32

33 Broader Evidence…cont. References…cont. Mutch, A. (2003). Exploring the Practice of Feedback to Students. Active Learning in Higher Education, 4(24), pp. 24-38 Price, M. and O'Donovan, B. (2008). Feedback – All that effort, but what is the effect?. Paper presented at EARLI/Northumbria Assessment Conference, 27-29 August, Seminaris Seehotel, Potsdam, Germany Ribchester, C., and France, D. (2008) Podcasts and feedback in G. Salmon and P. Edirisingha (eds), Podcasting for Learning in Universities. Open University Press, Maidenhead, pp. 70-79 Rowe, A. D. and Wood, L. N. (2007). What feedback do students want?. Paper presented at AARE 2007 International Educational Research Conference, 25-29 November, Fremantle, Australia Weaver, M. R. (2006). Do students value feedback? Student perceptions of tutors' written responses. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 31(3), pp. 379-394 33

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