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Presented by: Earle Abrahamson Higher Education Academy, Assessment Conference 12/11/09, Oxford University.

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Presentation on theme: "Presented by: Earle Abrahamson Higher Education Academy, Assessment Conference 12/11/09, Oxford University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Presented by: Earle Abrahamson Higher Education Academy, Assessment Conference 12/11/09, Oxford University

2 To discuss feedback as learning To explore how best to use feedback to engage with our students Purposes of feedback – external and internal Ways to try to make feedback most useful Language of feedback – helpful not bland! Issues for future consideration

3 A good teacher is able to communicate clearly with the students. It is not the responsibility of students to interpret what is going on in the teachers mind – R Meyers (ISSOTL 2009).

4 There is more known, in every discipline, than students in any course can learn! As a result, in most courses we ask students to learn too much, with the seemingly paradoxical result that too little is learned and retained. If students cant learn it all, what should they learn, and consequently be assessed upon?

5 Why do we assess? 1. Certification 2. Quality Assurance 3. Learning 4. Sustainability

6 Feed-outwards function: Externals, QAA, Prof Bodies Showing consistency and fairness and justifying grade awarded Feed-inwards function: key part of our dialogue with students about what they have done well, what needs improving and how they can make these improvements

7 Consider what the specific purposes are e.g. to give early encouragement suggestions for further work to improve summative work Consider the level, stage and any particular features of the cohort.

8 Feedback to feedforward A key area is to use feedback to help students to improve their future work. Students may need our help in seeing this. Good to explore their previous experiences and their expectations about feedback – what it is for and how they can use it.

9 How do we give appropriate constructive criticism and ensure rigour? How do we give accurate feedback on weak work without destroying a students confidence? How do we ensure that feedback to outstanding students is more than the minimal and helps them to develop further? How do we get students to use the feedback we give them to help them move forward?

10 Avoid criticising the person rather than the work being assessed Try not to use language that leaves the student nowhere to go e.g. Appalling Words like incomparable to excellent students feel good but need to be supplemented by suggestions for future improvement

11 This is a well argued essay and draws upon a useful set of sources but you could develop this further by..... There is much to commend your scholarly and coherent approach but you have not.... Where you have drawn upon established methodologies is excellent and you could have taken this even further by.....

12 Strengths of this work Areas that need improvement Suggestions as to how you may achieve these improvements Academic style General comments

13 What problems have you encountered when giving feedback to students? How have you dealt with these problems? Are there other ways forward that might be helpful?

14 What do you need to think more about?

15 Engage students in self- assessment to encourage them to use your feedback to feed forward to their future work. Use peer assessment Think about different ways of delivering some of your feedback

16 Self assessment : Involve the learners feedback as dialogue For student to completeFor staff to complete These are areas of my work that I think are good for the following reasons Please comment on the following areas of work What I want to improve or do differently next time The grade I think this piece of work deserves is

17 Get learners to self assess Return tutor marked work back to the individual but without the grade Get the learner to mark their own work Collect learner grades 9 out of 10 students will be within 5% Arrange to talk to those where the difference is more than 5% or one criterion

18 Ask students to mark each others work formatively. One example... Think about your role as overseer and quality monitor.

19 Saving time Generic feedback within 24 hours on VLE Face-to-face feedback with whole group or small groups Peer feedback in groups Use technology such as: Sound files e.g. Audacity (Free) Dragon software Statement banks SELF feedback


21 Pilot Study – asked students to self assess work and then use wordle to check word emphasis; and then input staff assessment into wordle to check word emphasis – N = 50 (students) Abrahamson StudentsStaff

22 Cross module moderation for markers Group marking exercises Marking buddies across modules Assess less – or differently – give yourself more time to complete marking and give good feedback. Consider the main ideas within the discipline and work on assessing these. Induct students into the assessment and feedback processes.


24 Argyrous, G. (2005) Statistics for research. 2nd ed. Sage, London Berger, J. (1972) Ways of seeing Penguin, London Bringing Educational Creativity to All (BECTA) (2006) Tech News March. Conole, G. and Dyke, M. (2004) What are the affordances of information and communication technologies?. Alt-J 12:2, pp Department for Education and Skills (DfES) Standards Unit (2003) The future of initial teacher education for the learning and skills sector; and agenda for reform DfES, London Department for Education and Skills (DfES) Standards Unit (2004) Equipping our teachers for the future: Reforming initial teacher training for the learning and skills sector DfES, London Dyke, M., Harding, A. and Lajeunesse, S. (2006) Digital Observation of Teaching Practice.. Paper presented to the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association, April 9, in San Francisco, USA


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