Using feedback to feedforward

The HEA ran a project called Student Enhanced Learning through Effective Feedback (SENLEF), it was a project funded by the LTSN Generic Centre (now Higher Education Academy) to develop a resource for practitioners wishing to improve their feedback practice to students or get some new ideas on how to enhance their current practice. The project outlines a range of case studies that you might like to read about and maybe get some inspiration. I would like to share an initiative that one of our own colleagues has just begun in order to improve her assessment and feedback procedures. The essence of the project was to address Swansea University’s five year strategic plan, as one of our aims is to improve learning and teaching by making assessment and feedback a key priority. In light of the 2015 NSS results, our colleague created a new method of feedback for one of her modules. She wanted to examine the impact that providing feedback on interim assessment would have on future assessment processes such as end of year exams, and to look at how students engage with this new process to help support their learning in general. As we all know providing students with feedback information is an on-going process, one that requires great skill and understanding of our students and their learning habits.
The project is in its early stages. All students on the module were given the opportunity to participate in the study. During the interim assessment they were provided with a questionnaire requiring them to identify; what went well in the assessment, what areas they felt needed further development and to propose targets for their future development. Those students who were interested in participating in the new feedback process completed the form and submitted it with their paper. The progress that these students have made will be followed after their end of year exams later this month. It will be interesting to hear what they have to say about the feedback and to see whether having such detailed feedback earlier on in the module had any impact on their success in the exam. There will be a blog post update to follow shortly and hopefully a more detailed paper will ensue.
If you have used any type of informative feedback processes, which you would like to share with colleagues, please contact the salt team so that we can spread the good work that is going on around the university.

Feedback image indicating a dialogic process

One Comment

  1. This is an extremely welcome piece of research by one of our Senior Lecturer here at Swansea

    Swansea University has invested many £000s to develop its leaders and managers as coaches and embed a full “coaching culture” across the Institution based on the knowledge that effective leadership and management will result in an harmonious, motivated and productive staff.

    Likewise this shift in teaching practice, incorporating ‘student-centred learning’, by providing detailed and developmental formative feedback is the single most useful thing tutors can do for students. It will assist students to achieve their potential and:

    • enable self-assessment and reflection in learning
    • encourage tutor-student dialogue
    • help clarify what is good performance
    • provide students with quality information to help improve their learning
    • encourage motivation and self-confidence in our students.

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