Feedback is frequently characterised as the information that the educator imparts to the learner. Such a view diminishes the value that feedback can serve. Feedback is most useful to the learner when they have a chance to apply the feedback to another activity, and then gain feedback on their subsequent work. It is also of great value to educators to observe that a learner can receive feedback and adjust their performance accordingly. In order to achieve the maximum value from feedback opportunities, both non-graded and graded assessment tasks should be carefully staged in order to allow multiple feedback opportunities. These opportunities can iteratively develop the learnerâ€™s capacity and maximise the value of assessment to the learner.
- How can tasks be located within a unit to provide iterative feedback opportunities?
- How can learners be given information about feedback and how they are expected to incorporate it into their activities?
- How will feedback be framed so that learners can respond to it constructively?
- How can the non-graded and graded tasks relate to each other so that learners have the chance to incorporate feedback from one task into the next?
- How can the final graded activity build upon prior tasks?
Also refer to:
Outcomes > Unit/module learning outcomes
Feedback processes > Types of feedback information
Building up a task over time
I was using two big tasks in a unit: a final portfolio, and a proposal of what to put in the portfolio. I found that students werenâ€™t acting on feedback on their proposal when working on their final portfolio. I was giving them the same feedback twice! I re-thought the tasks so that the writing from the proposal task became embedded inside the portfolio, and literally required them to act upon feedback from their proposal inside the portfolio. I had to explain to them that â€śyes, really you can copy-paste; I want to see how you can improve itâ€ť. Theyâ€™re doing better work now that I see that work twice and require them to act on feedback. â€“Â Education lecturer
Modularisation can make feedback challenging
I inherited a unit that was really just a set of six disjointed modules, taught by six academics, each with their own assessment. There was no narrative to the assessment, and students didnâ€™t really have a chance to get and act on feedback before they were assessed. It felt unfair. In the short term we fixed this by getting together and trying to identify a sort of progression between the tasks, but in the long term we just had to move away from that sort of modular approach. â€“ Education lecturer
- The ESCAPE project has a section on Assessment timelines pbworks.com/w/page/30631817/ESCAPE%20-%20Assessment%20timelines
- The University of Reading Engage in Feedback site has a set of useful resources reading.ac.uk/internal/engageinfeedback/Quicktips/efb-QuickTipsAndResources.aspx including tips on feed-forward guidance and an audit tool for teachers to self-assess their feedback practices
- The University of Reading Engage in Assessment site has a brief discussion of the challenges of modularisation reading.ac.uk/engageinassessment/assessment-design/eia-seeing-the-bigger-assessment-picture.aspx and a spreadsheet tool for assessment mapping
- Timing your assessments section on University of Reading Engage in Assessment site www.reading.ac.uk/engageinassessment/assessment-design/planning/eia-timing-your-assessments.aspxÂ
- University of Queenslandâ€™s assessment research brief Feeding Forward from Summative Assessment: the Essay Feedback Checklist as a Learning Tool edu.au/tediteach/assessment/docs/brief-39-feb2014.pdf
- The first few chapters in Boud and Molloyâ€™s (2013) Feedback in Higher and Professional Education: Understanding it and doing it well routledge.com/books/details/9780415692298/ present a model of feedback that can inform assessment design.