Enhancing Student Learning through Innovative Feedback

Enhancing Student Learning through Innovative Feedback 

Alison Graham,  Sara Marsham and Christie Harner, Newcastle University - Download slides here

Students frequently express frustration with assessment and feedback: e.g., marking criteria are too generic, feedback does not relate to a specific criterion and feedback is not useful.  Many students would like feedback to be a dialogue between assessor and student, for markers to pose challenges or praise successes in specific sections and allow students to ask questions about their learning.  Our project aimed to improve the clarity of marking criteria, link feedback more explicitly to criteria, and initiate a dialogue that would improve student performance on future assessments.  We began by developing new marking criteria and provided a series of tutorials that gave opportunities for students to practice using the criteria to mark exemplars.  Following this, GradeMark was trialed as an electronic platform to provide feedback on coursework.  Within GradeMark, we developed libraries of feedback specific to a particular assessment and it’s marking criteria.  This allowed us to pose questions to students to improve their understanding of content and skills and provide positive feedback.  Using a bank of feedback comments improves consistency between markers and allows a dialogue to take place that follows from the tutorials but is not heavily reliant on staff time.