There are a wide range of methods for providing feedback to students. The type of feedback will very often depend on the type of assessment and the timing of when the assessment is undertaken. When designing assessment it is also important to consider the method of feedback you will use and the benefits and practicalities of this method. Below we will introduce a range of possible feedback methods and identify a number of tools available to you within the University.
Tips for giving feedback
When providing feedback to students you should consider how the feedback gives the student every opportunity to use the feedback to improve their performance in the future and reinforce their current achievement. Below is a sheet with some helpful tips on giving feedback to students. There is also a letter and a form that can be used by staff to help guide students who are resubmitting an assessment previously failed where they need to make improvements to pass the re-submission.
Feedback is an integral part of the learning process. It is the feedback we provide to students that enables them to identify areas of strength and weakness so that they may achieve their full potential. Feedback comes in a variety of forms and can be both formal and informal. Below we highlight some examples of the types of feedback available and also how they might be used.
As technology has become more accessible so the use of audio feedback has become more of a realistic option for staff. If you use Turnitin, for example, you will note that it now has the option to include audio comments. Audio feedback has been shown to save staff time (Rotherham, 2009) and improve the students’ experience. Audio feedback allows students to hear the tonality of voice and inflections which are missed in the written word.
Here is a video with Dr John Connell talking about his use of audio feedback.
Video feedback is also emerging as a rich alternative to text only feedback. Video-based feedback can help students to feel as if the feedback is very personalised and specific to them. This helps students to consider the feedback to be more meaningful and therefore they are more likely to respond to it. You can create video feedback using a variety of methods including Panopto, Blackboard grader on the iPad, sharing via Youtube or recording using a web cam or mobile phone. The method you choose will depend on the type of work you are returning feedback on, how it was submitted, whether it is individual or group and what technology you have available.
Online and collaborative feedback
The university supports a number of tools to enable online submission including MyBeckett Assignment, Turnitin and Google docs. All these tools allow you to provide online written feedback. You can find out about providing feedback through Turnitin and MyBeckett on the Learning Systems guide pages. If students use tools such as Google Docs for writing their papers and essays you can provide opportunities for online feedback both by peers and tutors. By sharing a Google doc with their peers and their tutor a student can draw upon a number of feedback perspectives. Getting students to provide peer feedback in this way can assist them in their own writing. There are also options to provide peer feedback when setting up a Turnitin submission area.
Event and Presentation feedback
In viva & presentation situations it is important to provide feedback in a way that it is not lost. Most of the time this will involve the tutor writing down the feedback and then sharing it with the student(s). However, you might consider recording both the student presentation/viva and also the tutor feedback via a system like Panopto so that the student can revisit it in their own time.
Feedback to large cohorts
If you have large cohorts of students it can seem a daunting task providing feedback to each of them. However you can use a range of feedback tools and techniques to assist you in this process and still provide a rich feedback experience. The use of rubrics can help you identify to students common areas of strength and weakness and peer feedback that is tutor supported can also be a rich experience for all students involved.
The use of audio feedback has shown to be both rich for students and timesaving for staff and can be effectively used in large groups.
Here is the link to the rubric guide for Turnitin.
Portfolios offer opportunities for continuous formative feedback over a period of time. Effective use of an e-portfolio system such as PebblePad allows students to regularly receive feedback reflect upon it and make the necessary improvements for future activities.
Marking criteria and rubrics
Clear grading criteria which is clearly linked to learning outcomes can help students to see how they will be assessed. It can also be used as a structure for effective feedback. The use of rubrics can show students how they can meet the grading criteria and what they need to be doing in order to meet each level of grading. By preparing rubrics in advance of the assessment submission they can also be used to provide quick turnaround feedback to students very soon after the assignment submission.
There are examples of marking criteria from 2 areas of the University. The first is from the area of Health and Social Sciences and is aimed at Masters level students, it can be accessed here.
The second is from Stephen Newman in the school of Childhood and Education and covers all levels. It can be accessed here.
Further resources and examples
There is an Epigeum resources around marking and giving feedback to students. The online course can be found here.
The Student's Union have created a resource termed 'The Feedback Pack' and is designed to help students get the most out of your feedback, the Feedback Pack was produced by the Students’ Union in conjunction with the Centre for Learning and Teaching. It can be accessed on the Students' Union websitehere.