Improving student uptake and understanding of feedback through a dialogue model of assessment

C. MacEachen, D. Carmichael

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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Through the use of questionnaires, focus groups and a pilot study, this research examines student perception of assessment feedback and whether a dialogue model of assessment can aid in improving this perception. The findings of the study are that the dialogue model did improve student perception. It also identified the following recommendations for consideration: Recommendation 1: While a QE approach could be taken where a minimum standard of feedback is determined at University level, the researchers feel this might be restrictive and is better left to subject groups to determine. This minimum level can then be used as a QA check by internal moderators and at Quality Review events. It will be important to ensure that if feedback falls below this subject-determined minimum level that action is taken within the group to bring feedback up to the standard required. Recommendation 2: It should be written into the feedback policy that students have a right to a meeting to discuss feedback. This needs to be clearly expressed to ensure students recognize that this is not an opportunity to negotiate grades (as the researchers have personally experienced) and given in the spirit of helping the student develop. The researchers believe that as educators we should see the value in such meetings and make time for them. If good, constructive, clear feedback is given at the time of the assessment then there will be very few students who need to take up this opportunity. Recommendation 3: Within programme documentation when generic transferable skills are discussed there should be a requirement to show where the team are developing student understanding of the assessment process. Recommendation 4: Staff should be encouraged to include their marking scheme with the assessment brief. Recommendation 5: Monitor the result of the new assessment strategy in terms of student attainment and perception about the fairness of assessment. In particular identify how many modules have gone to single units of assessment and where this happens how students are supported with feedforward. Recommendation 6: Identify is there is a University standard expectation for particular types of assessment instrument at each level. This would help us to communicate lecturer expectations to students.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014
EventUnlocking New Ideas in Teaching and Learning - Dundee, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Oct 20141 Oct 2014


OtherUnlocking New Ideas in Teaching and Learning
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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