Assessment and Feedback in Geography - Kevin Rees

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 Tendency to treat A&F separately
 But feedback should be informed by the form of
assessment…
…what feedback method works best
for this piece of assessment?
 diversity of feedback.
 Students should expect written feedback but don’t
rely solely on written comments to provide
feedback.
 Diversity of assessment
 Coordinated assessment approach
 Assessment calendar (College of Science system)
 Spread of assessment
 Early assessment
 Small assessment:
 Balanced assessment (for learning):
 Choice of assessment
Diversity of assessment
… makes a positive difference to
the engagement of students in the
assessment and feedback process.
 Exams but also continual
assessment in the form of:
 Essays
 Posters
 practical reports
 seminar presentations
 Fieldwork notebooks, field
guides
 maps production
 Frequent formative assessment
and feedback through frequent
(biweekly) tutorials /essays
“I found the best thing about the (tutorial) module to be
the close work with the tutor in relation to getting the
best out of essay writing. I enjoyed writing the essays and
then getting feedback to work on”.
“Out of the four essays that have to be submitted, only
the two best essays go towards your overall mark. This is
good as it allows you to work on certain areas that need
improving.”
Diversity of assessment
… makes a positive difference to
the engagement of students in the
assessment and feedback process.
 Exams but also continual
assessment in the form of:
 Essays
 Posters
 practical reports
 seminar presentations
 Fieldwork notebooks, field
guides
 maps production
and feedback through frequent
(biweekly) tutorials /essays
 Biweekly practical classes
provide prompt and frequent
feedback
 Summative assessment
(Continual Assessment
increases through degree, which
provides earlier feedback than
exam period)
 Project assessment
(Dissertation support from
Level 2 via tutor and peer
system)
 Students tell us they appreciate
“I like the assessment, the presentation was a good experience”
“Take the use of presentations into other modules, even instead
of exams”.
“The seminar put many out of their comfort zones and pushed
us to develop ourselves overall.”
“Having to do a presentation to the class. It was scary but it
was a useful thing to do and the feedback after was really
helpful.”
Diverse assessment also helps students of differing abilities
shine:
“The presentations are a great opportunity for those of us who
can explain our knowledge better with words than on a piece of
paper.”
Coordinated assessment approach:
 Form (we expose students to different methods and forms of
assessment; assessment methods communicated preselection)
 Frequency
 Timing
 Stress a course rather than modular perspective.
Assessment calendar (College of Science system)
 available for all students to see and plan their time.
 submission dates coordinated by teaching
administrator.
Coordinated assessment approach:
 Form (we expose students to different methods and forms of
assessment; assessment methods communicated pre-selection)
 Frequency
 Timing
 Stress a course rather than modular perspective.
Assessment calendar (College of Science system)
 available for all students to see and plan their time.
 submission dates coordinated by teaching administrator.
Spread of assessment
 points of assessment spread across academic year to avoid
assessment congestion.
Early assessment
 earlier points of assessment in TB1
 provide feedback for learning
 crucially allows feedback before student surveys.
Level Two
Modules with continual assessment components
Teaching Block 1
7
Teaching Block 2
7
Level 3
Teaching Block 1
7
Teaching Block 2
12
 Compulsory dissertation (at L3) has formative and
summative assessment in TB1 and TB2, so everyone gets
feedback.
Small assessment:
 small, quick to mark, low % module contribution (low risk)
 early and individualised feedback which students
appreciate.
 E.g. Geographic Information Systems:
5% mapping assignment
Due October 25th
Feedback on November 2nd
Individual and group feedback
Group feedback emailed to all students by module coordinator:
Well done - everyone passed.
We have marked in 5% categories, which equates to 1% for the overall
module mark as this piece of work is worth 5% of the total. The
minimum was 50% and the maximum 80%.
On the whole you all appear to have grasped the nature of good
mapping, and some of you have demonstrated considerable flair.
Common problems included:
1) Lack of geographic reference (e.g. graticule, grid or inset map).
2) Unsympathetic colours, scale or layout.
3) Failing to completely address the specification.
4) Lack of information to explain what is being presented.
Best wishes.
Balanced assessment (for learning):
• Risk of assessment burden and assessment fatigue (for
students and staff ).
• Regular points of assessment across the course
• Frequent student experiences of feedback.
Choice of assessment:
• students appreciate choice (selection from choice of
essays; essay or more technical assignment; choice of data
set).
“Module was very interesting, especially the seminars and
coursework idea of choosing from a list”.
 Diverse feedback methods
 Exam feedback
 Contextualised feedback
 Early feedback
 Frequent individualised formative feedback
(project)
 Communication
 Pre-emptive feedback
Diverse assessment justifies diverse feedback methods:
 students get bored with the same method of feedback.
 combine written feedback with:
 Feedback using a rubric which reflects your marking
guidelines
Anon
Marketing
Sustainable Tourism
31/5/2012
Additional comments for feedback:
A visually appealing poster with reasonable structure and flow (organisation).
What is the research question? The context section needs references. Methods lack detail.
Curiously the research describes attractions rather than focusing on their marketing.
An odd discord between the title and the research.
Diverse assessment justifies diverse feedback methods:
 students get bored with the same method of feedback.
 combine written feedback with:
 Feedback using a rubric which reflects your marking guidelines
 Oral feedback (tutorials, after seminar presentations)
 Peer feedback (in seminars, group work at Level 2, DSG for
dissertation at Level 3).
Exam feedback:
 At every level students receive individual meetings with their tutor
in February and October  personalised feedback.
Students see their scripts
 read the comments
 discuss strengths and weaknesses
 devise objectives for improvement.
Contextualised feedback
 Individualised feedback complemented by…
…Generic feedback (common strengths/weaknesses)
 How do I compare to my peers?
 What did I do better and worse than my peers?
 provides context
 encourages reflective learning
Early feedback
 early and prompt feedback for learning
We do this through: our tutorial system
research methods module
in various topic-specific modules.
Frequent individual formative feedback
 E.g. Dissertation (project assessment)
L2 tutor provides feedback on proposal
Allocated staff mentor adds further feedback on proposal
L3 mentor provides formative feedback in regular meetings
DSG peer-group also provides formative feedback
Feedback on project progress in November
Feedback chapter(s) in December
Communication
 Feedback calendar to accompany an assessment calendar (manage
expectations).
 Monitoring and notification by our Teaching Administrator
 Blackboard to give generic feedback to all students in a module.
 Return of work with feedback whenever possible (Sharepoint to store
electronic work for review by external examiners).
 Trialling Grademark in semester 1 AY2012-13.
Pre-emptive feedback
 Ensure students are aware of the standards expected of
them:
 what does 1st class work look like?
 Can they assess their peers?
 Reviewing past exam essay answers (anonymised) to
students to read, award a mark, justify and discuss.
 More than providing a model answer, it promotes
reflective-learning.
Final thoughts:
Some practices are serving us well
… but there is still room for improvement.
Improving student feedback scores remains a top priority.
Our subject provides for a large variety of assessment methods
… best solution likely to be subjectspecific.
A College system has been helpful: assessment calendar has
assisted coordination and oversight.

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