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Food for thought: the students’ perspective of assessment and feedback

Food for thought: the students’ perspective of assessment and feedback

Headington, Rita, Callnon, Duncan, Barron, Hetty and Smith, Michael (2011) Food for thought: the students’ perspective of assessment and feedback. In: Redefining the Student Experience: directions for learning, teaching and assessment, 5 July 2011, University of Greenwich. (Unpublished)

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The National Student Survey (NSS) has repeatedly shown student dissatisfaction with ‘Assessment and Feedback’ (HEFCE/UCAS, 2011) across the Higher Education sector. Five NSS questions explore students’ views of criteria, the fairness of assessment and marking, the promptness and detail of feedback received and whether it has helped to clarify their understanding. In response to poor NSS results in these areas the Primary Education Department made alterations to practices to enhance the quality of its provision. These appeared to have little impact on student satisfaction despite being based on tutors’ extensive working knowledge of Assessment for Learning (Black and Wiliam, 1998) in the schools’ sector. It was evident that we needed to find out more about the student experience and to listen to the student voice.

Following a successful bid for University of Greenwich Innovation Funding, we worked collaboratively with students to determine their perspective of feedback and assessment via three world café events (World Café, 2011), run for and by undergraduates during 2010. Some 60 BA (QTS) in Primary Education students attended the events, discussed questions and wrote comments on tablecloths. Student Ambassadors worked in liaison with a researcher to interpret and analyse the students’ perceptions and found they valued the one-to-one assessment and feedback received during placements far more than that received during the academic element of the programme.

Findings were shared within the project team and used as a basis for developing two staff-student conferences focusing on assessment and feedback. The first of these, in July 2010, disseminated findings and involved staff and students in making recommendations for practice. The second, in September 2010, involved staff in reviewing all courses to action these recommendations. Actions included the development and use of detailed marking criteria across teams of tutors to enable consistency of practice, overt reference to different types of feedback used within courses and analysis of assessment practices at programme level. During 2010-11 the student ambassadors disseminated the project’s findings from the world café events and the department’s consequent actions, to all student cohorts.

This presentation, by staff and student members of the project team, will share processes, outcomes and responses and consider how such approaches could be used across disciplines. The students’ perspective gave us greater insight, provoked joint action and led to improvements in the quality of the student experience.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Additional Information: [1] This paper was given at Redefining the Student Experience: directions for learning, teaching and assessment - the 4th annual learning, teaching and assessment one day conference held at the University of Greenwich on July 5th 2011
Uncontrolled Keywords: National Student Survey Assessment
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Education
School of Education > Department of Primary Education
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:17

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