Learner-centred Feedback

The journal article was called ‘Using learner-centred feedback design to promote students’ engagement with feedback’.  Student engagement with feedback is one of the major factors in ensuring feedback is effective.  The article focusses on learner-centred feedback in encouraging student engagement and ultimately maximising the effectiveness of feedback.  The study considered two postgraduate modules with 35 students which had two assessments.  The first assessment was peer assessed by other students on the module, then self-assessed by the student before receiving feedback from the teacher.  The aim was for this feedback to then be applied to their final assessment.

The group discussed different experiences of both giving and receiving feedback and what had worked well in the past.  They also explored the ecological framework of feedback described in the paper which highlighted the multifaceted nature of feedback.  The group were particularly interested in student feedback literacy, the feedback culture, and the teacher/student power relationship.

Students in the study were sceptical about receiving peer feedback – they wanted to know the feedback was right and there was an expectation that feedback is from the teacher.  It was thought that Higher Education should enhance self-assessed feedback and reflection as well as critical thinking so opportunities to develop these skills should be encouraged.  Another benefit of peer feedback was the opportunity it gave students to engage with the marking scheme before their final assessment.  The group had used RM Compare and Pebblepad to enable peer assessment and portfolio assessment.

The group noted a helpful illustration of being asked to draw a house and only after they had finished were they told the marking scheme (1 point for a fence, 1 point for an apple tree etc.) which is sometimes how students face assessments without knowing how it will be marked.

The take home messages from the participants of the journal club at the end of the session were as follows:

  • Provided an interesting insight into feedback and I will now consider a feedback design model that would be helpful across the board
  • Highlighted the teacher/student power relationship and I will endeavour to make assessments more student-centred and student led
  • The importance of explaining assessments clearly from the start (the house illustration) will help me consider the student perspective (the instructional arrangements, ecological framework)
  • Emphasised the complex nature of feedback and the number of things that affect how students respond. I will consider how to use peer feedback within my own feedback as the teacher
  • Reaffirmed why both student and teacher feedback in my area works and has given me reassurances of how I give feedback
  • Stressed the importance of designing assessments – thinking about the strategy for feedback and the student’s role in that
  • Embedding peer model into teaching so that students do not see it as an additional task, seeing assessment from the student’s perspective whilst maintaining the purpose of assessment

Continue the conversation through our Yammer Pedagogy Journal Club.