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Assessment and feedback for economics students: without drowning... Peter Smith University of Southampton Associate, Economics Network.

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Presentation on theme: "Assessment and feedback for economics students: without drowning... Peter Smith University of Southampton Associate, Economics Network."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assessment and feedback for economics students: without drowning... Peter Smith University of Southampton Associate, Economics Network

2 Context National Student Survey –Low scores for feedback across institutions and disciplines Transition to university –from A-level to undergraduate Formative vs. summative assessment –importance of incentives Increasing student numbers –the tyranny of marking and providing feedback

3 Assessment and feedback are inextricably linked The nature of assessment methods used determines the type and effectiveness of feedback Good feedback improves student achievement on assessments …but can be costly as student numbers increase

4 Assessment should be designed to: be effective –needs to assess intended outcomes be efficient –in terms of staff time enable good feedback –to improve performance in future assessments

5 Effective assessment Discriminating in assessing outcomes –Knowledge & understanding –Application of economic thinking –Analysis –Evaluation Graduate attributes –Expression –Problem-solving –Teamworking –etc.

6 Effective feedback Gulf between what students want.. and what we want to give them It is important to manage/influence expectations … and to raise awareness of what is meant by feedback …and when students are receiving it. Use student-friendly language

7 What students would like… based on a survey of c.600 students at Southampton Most effective feedback: –detailed written feedback (hard copy or online) –NOT mark only/brief/delayed Timeliness –Neutral between marks & brief comments after 2 weeks cf. detailed comments after 3 weeks –1 Published deadlines for marks & feedback to which staff adhere –2 Feedback available in time to improve next time –3 Consistency across schools & programmes

8 What students would like for their feedback…(2) Quick turn-around More detailed/explanatory Legible Positive Consistent Individual tutorials

9 What students do not like… Results displayed on noticeboard or grades only Brief & general feedback Group feedback Written anonymous feedback Delayed feedback

10 Efficient assessment – can we avoid drowning? MCQ –Economics Network Question Bank –http://www.economicsnetwork.ac.uk/qnbank/http://www.economicsnetwork.ac.uk/qnbank/ Technology-enhanced marking –podcasts of answers/common errors –statement banks Group work –http://www.economicsnetwork.ac.uk/developmenthttp://www.economicsnetwork.ac.uk/development Standardised tick-box forms Masterclasses to replace seminar groups TA marking Peer assessment –blogs?

11 Peer assessment (with thanks to Judith Piggott (Oxford Brookes)) Weekly tasks counting 10% of overall grade In seminar/class sessions Carefully-designed questions marked by each other before the end of the session Then moderated (by TAs) Improves attendance Gives students a different perspective on marking & feedback


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