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‘Feedback sessions’ - Helping first year students get the most out of assessment and feedback. Sue R Whittle & Linda B Bonnett Faculty of Biological Sciences University of Leeds. Context. Prompt and effective feedback is a key issue in promoting student learning (Race, 2007).
Sue R Whittle & Linda B Bonnett
Faculty of Biological Sciences
University of Leeds
Prompt and effective feedback is a key issue in promoting student learning (Race, 2007).
Conditions required for students to benefit from feedback:
Biochemistry laboratory practical reports for first year students:
Process meets many of the requirements identified from student questionnaires (National Student Survey 2007)
Students (85%) believe that feedback has improved their report writing
However staff were disappointed with student progress
Are feedback messages getting across?
Self assessment of work
Use of action planning sheets
Introducing dedicated feedback sessions
Focusing on feedback (Session 1)
Timetabled 1-hour feedback sessions held 1 week after assessed practical report deadlines.
Reports had been marked and feedback sheets completed in advance by assessors but NOT returned to student with report.
Students had completed self assessment of their own work and identified errors and areas for improvement using the feedback sheet.
Students then compared their own marks and feedback with that of the assessor and had the opportunity to discuss any differences.
In Semester 2 the designated feedback sessions took a different form.
Marked student work was returned with completed assessment feedback sheets.
Students used the feedback session for guided reflection on their work and planning of appropriate changes to their approach to future assessments.
A Feedback Action Plan sheet, was used to facilitate reflection and planning(adapted from Race, 2007) .
At the end of the academic year opinion was sought from staff and students.
Students were asked to comment on the effectiveness of these sessions in:
Their approach to feedback and its use was re-examined and compared with attitudes on entry.
Staff comment on the value of the dedicated feedback sessions and the action planning sheets.
Student performance before and after the project was briefly compared.
6 staff members took part in the project
Had the dedicated feedback sessions helped students to focus on their feedback ?
Benefits of self marking
Comparison of student and assessor marks
Most student marks were similar to the assessors but a significant number were lower.
Had the Action Planning sheet helped students to use feedback from one assignment to improve the next?
Separate feedback sessions and self-assessment of reports has been retained in semester 1 only – timing was checked to ensure attendance is convenient for students
Action planning was introduced earlier at the end of semester 1 in the context of overviewing performance throughout the semester
Questionnaires will include questions which aim to investigate student attitudes towards usefulness of feedback
http://www.hefce.ac.uk/learning/nss/data/2007/ doc accessed 10/06/08
http://www.phil-race.com/files/feedbackcom.doc accessed 16/01/08