The Students' Union and University of Stirling have been working closely in developing a new Feedback and Feedforward Policy, with regards to assignment feedback, along with new Student Guidance on Feedback; both of which were implemented for the 2015/16 academic year. Through our work we identified six key principals that all assignment feedback should include:
- Embedded- Feedback and feedforward need to be an integral part of the learning process and so opportunities to give, receive and engage with feedback/feedforward should be embedded within the curriculum and planned across programmes.
- Timely- Students should receive regular feedback throughout their modules. All feedback is useful, but for feedback and feedforward to have most impact, it should be given in good time prior to the submission date of subsequent related assessments.
- Transparent- Good feedback will be directly related to the learning outcomes/assessment criteria/guidelines against which the overall mark is awarded. Use of a marking grid should reflect the mark awarded and additional comments should be provided
- Goal referenced- Good feedforward would clarify expectations in advance, including what good performance is (e.g. goals, assessment criteria, and expected standards) and how this could be achieved. Good practice would include additional information such as annotated exemplars. Good feedback will provide clear details about the extent to which the outcomes of a piece of work/task have been achieved.
- Dialogic- Good practice will promote teacher/peer discussions around learning and performance. To enhance their learning experience, students need to take the opportunities to pro-actively engage with feedback/feedforward, reflect and act upon it.
- Consistent & accessible- The use of marking pro-formas, agreed assessment criteria and rigorous, recorded moderation procedures will ensure consistent marking between staff. All feedback/feedforward should be delivered in accessible formats.
As part of our work on feedback, we also developed a new campaign to encourage more conversation around assignment feedback- #FeedbackFriday.
This semester based campaign ultimately aims to identify what students really think about, and want from, their feedback, and asks them to think what does quality feedback look like and why is feedback important?
The data we receive from this campaign will be instrumental in furthering change and ensuring that best practice is shared across the Institution. We hope to see an increase in our NSS scores around feedback, as well as more positive comments via our RATE awards scheme, particularly for the 'Fantastic Feedback' Award.
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