I go to great lengths to give my students critical concise feedback on their assessments. I follow the university’s evidence-based procedure (examples). I just don’t see any sign that my students are reading the feedback I give them, let alone addressing issues to do better in their next assessment. What can I do to help them help themselves!?
Dear Miserable Marker,
You’re in luck! Agnes and I explored this common experience in our Feedback Feedforward workshop (held in June 2017).
We asked the question:
How can we transform assessment and practices to ensure students work harder on feedback than we do?
Here are the three top tips from our Feedback Feedforward workshop:
- Marker and Process vs Student and Cycle
1. Marker and Process vs Student and Cycle
For a long time, the literature, policy and practice has tended to focus on what the marker can do to improve student feedback and performance.
Download our Feedback handout (OneID login required).
The typical traditional feedback process is linear (and a bit of a monologue!): teacher releases task, student completes and submits task, marker provides feedback, student… reads(?)… feedback…? Maybe.
It has only recently been acknowledged that the time students spend interacting with feedback is related to the rate of improvement in subsequent assessment tasks (Zimbardi et al., 2016).
We need to reconceptualise the feedback process into a feedback cycle(!) and bring students into a dialogue (with themselves and us!) to feedforward to improve their future performance.
In the feedback cycle we identify three phases of opportunity where students can be guided and supported to interact with feedback from the very beginning!
Download our Feedforward handout for full details (OneID login required).
Prior to submitting assessments we can ignite metacognition (Orell, 2009) and self-regulation (Nicol, 2009) in students through, for instance:
- the co-creation of rubrics (Parsell, 2008)
- having students link learning to individual goals (Olinger, 2013)
- self-evaluation based on the marking criteria
After submitting assessments we can continue to progress student self-regulation with guided activities through, for instance:
- pairing assessment with a reflective task (Griffin et al., 2016)
- incorporating peer review as part of the feedback cycle (Harland et al., 2016)
When returning an assessment, could you:
- return the qualitative feedback only
- require students to respond to that feedback
- then release the letter / numerical grade?
Or after returning assessments, could you design the reflective self-regulatory practices into your classroom (tutorial) activities?
One example is The Bridge activity (Hurford & Reed, 2005).
So there you have it, Miserable Marker!
If you would like us to facilitate the workshopping of your assessment, unit or program, simply email us: firstname.lastname@example.org