Providing Written Assessment Feedback that Students will Value and Read

By Pamela Parker and Patrick Baughan.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This article outlines a study undertaken at City University London, involving 51 teaching staff (lecturers or other colleagues with a teaching or facilitation role at the University), who were all undertaking a staff-development module focused on learning, teaching and assessment issues (entitled Learning, Teaching and Assessment). Although all participants of the study were staff, they are referred to as students, as they were students of this module.
The study examined whether, having undertaken a module which addressed assessment and provision of good quality feedback, these students applied the advice they received into practice when asked to self-assess and provide feedback on an essay they wrote for the module. Data for the study was collected from analysing the aforementioned self-assessment which students provided for themselves.

The findings demonstrated that most had some retention of good practice principles from the day, such as providing feedback that related to the criteria, giving positive comments and outlining areas to develop. However, they provided noticeably less advice on how to develop their assessments according to the different criteria, and, despite being advised to write comments in the second person, many wrote their self-feedback as if it were for a third party.
Recommendations from this study include: that there needs to be further consideration of how to emphasise the importance of writing feedback in a personalised style; and that there is a need to ensure that sufficient advice is given to students on how to develop their future assessments.

Keywords: Assessment Feedback, Enhancing Student Learning, Staff Development

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 11, pp.253-262. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.255MB).

Dr. Pamela Parker

Associate Director, Learning Development Centre, City University London, London, UK

Dr Pam Parker is Associate Director, Learning Development Centre, City University London, with a focus on curriculum development, assessment and research. Specialist teaching areas include learning and teaching approaches, curriculum development, assessment, staff development and research. Pam is a registered nurse and has extensive experience of applying specialist teaching areas to nursing and midwifery as well as across education. Research interests include assessment of practice in nursing, assessment feedback and curriculum design.

Patrick Baughan

Senior Lecturer Educational Development, Learning Development Centre, City University London, London, UK

Patrick is a Senior Lecturer in Educational Development at City University London, and is Programme Director for the University’s MA Academic Practice programme, which is designed predominantly for staff with teaching responsibilities. His academic interests are based around issues in higher education, including assessment, feedback, academic conduct, and broader issues in educational integrity; he also has interests in various workplace issues, such as the psychological contract. Patrick has considerable teaching, supervision, and course leadership experience in higher education and distance learning.


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