Student preferences on procedural aspects of feedback

Report
TIMELY AND LEGIBLE
Student preferences on
procedural aspects of feedback
Sabine Bohnacker-Bruce
Learning and Teaching Fellow
Faculty of Business, Law and Sport
University of Winchester
Background to Research
“Student ratings of satisfaction with
feedback are consistently lower than
other teaching and learning elements
within the UK higher education sector.
However, reasons for this dissatisfaction
are often unclear to teaching staff, who
believe their students are receiving
timely, extensive and informative
feedback.”
Robinson, Pope and Holyoak (2011, p2)
Caveat
“…measures such as timing,
frequency, quantity or externally
judged product quality can only
indicate that some of the conditions
for effective feedback are in place.
They cannot prove that feedback is
effective.”
Price et al (2010, p287)
Methodology
DATA COLLECTION
• Pilot focus group
• Online questionnaire (via SurveyMonkey)
• Three further focus groups
PARTICIPANTS
• Focus groups: Y2/3 students from different departments
• Questionnaire: sent to all students in the Faculty
Questionnaire responses
• Sent to approx.1300 students in the faculty
• 135 students (10.3%) accessed questionnaire
• 114 (8.7%) completed the questionnaire
• 79% female - 21% male
• 24.6% Year 1
32.5% Year 2
37.7% Year 3
4.4% postgraduate students
Legibility
Q: Are you able to read hand-written feedback?
7.3%
61.8%
26.8%
4.1%
Yes, handwritten feedback is no problem for me
Depends on the lecturer but it's okay most of the time
I struggle quite often to work it out
I usually can't decipher it
Legibility
“To be useful it is important that feedback can be easily
read. The majority of feedback provided to these students
is hand-written rather than electronic. Results indicate that
71.1% of our students report that their feedback is always
or usually legible. However, this does indicate that
approximately 30% (or 50 students) in our sample felt that
sometimes the feedback that they receive is not legible,
which is of concern.”
Robinson, Pope and Holyoak (2011, p5)
Legibility
Q: How would you like to receive written feedback?
42.3%
25.2%
13.0%
9.8%
4.1%
Hand-written on relevant sections of assignment
Typed on cover sheet
Electronically
Set out in a table against the marking scheme
Hand written on cover sheet only
Legibility
Strongly
Agree
Agree
Neither/
Nor
Disagree
Strongly
Disagree
Rating
Average
2. All feedback should be
typed to ensure legibility
39.8%
37.3%
17.8%
5.1%
0.0%
4.12
13. I don’t mind handwritten feedback
10.3%
42.2%
21.6%
17.2%
8.6%
3.28
“I have no preference between typed or handwritten
feedback as long as it is legible.”
Timeliness
1. What do you think is the ideal time frame to make
feedback on the following assignments most effective?
2. What time frame for feedback would you consider
acceptable and realistic, taking into account the needs
of both students and staff, and the size of your module
groups?
Timeliness
Timing does
not matter
to me
3 days or
fewer
4-7 days
1-2 weeks
2-3 weeks
3-4 weeks
Q1: Ideal
Mid-module written
assignment
5.7%
6.5%
28.5%
49.6%
9.8%
0.0%
Presentation
1.6%
39.0%
30.9%
23.6%
4.9%
0.0%
Group work
4.9%
13.8%
32.5%
39.0%
9.8%
0.0%
Final assignment
4.9%
8.9%
12.2%
37.4%
26.0%
10.6%
Mid-module written
assignment
1.6%
2.4%
10.6%
49.6%
34.1%
1.6%
Presentation
1.6%
19.5%
27.6%
35.8%
13.8%
1.6%
Group work
4.1%
6.5%
13.8%
39.0%
35.0%
1.6%
Final assignment
1.6%
2.4%
8.1%
18.7%
46.3%
22.8%
Q2: Acceptable
Timeliness
“This study also finds an almost exact agreement from
participants with McDonald’s (1991) view of two weeks
being the maximum amount of time that students are
prepared to wait before receiving feedback... there is a
psychological period of time beyond which feedback begins
to lose its effect, and…students appear very clear as to
what this period of time is.”
Brown, 2007, p45
Timeliness
3.
How quickly do you usually receive feedback for your
various assignments?
4.
After what period of time do you think written feedback
becomes irrelevant?
38% When the next assignment has been handed in
4%
1-2 weeks
10% 2-3 weeks
21% 3-4 weeks
15% 4-6 weeks
11% Time does not matter
Student comments
• “Sometimes feedback from one assignment is too late to
have a sufficient amount of time to make it effective.”
• “Some assignments do come back too late to influence
the next one.”
• “I think it is important that assignments or at least
feedback from them needs to be returned to students
before their next assignment is due in order for them to
read and work on the areas for improvement highlighted
in feedback.”
Timely vs. ‘short-termist’
“Most students, even when they did see the feed-forward
function of feedback, took a more short-termist view than
staff of the timeframe in which they could apply the
feedback. The consequence of this difference was that
students often considered feedback from staff to be vague
and ambiguous because they could not immediately apply
it to another piece of work. Instead, students were often
looking for explicit instructions about how to do better next
time, and much feedback did not conform to this wish.”
Price et al, 2010, p285
Individualised
• Explored preferences re:
oral/written and
individual/group/peer feedback
• Forthcoming article in Capture
due in January
References
Bohnacker-Bruce, S. ( 2011). What is effective feedback: The academic
perspective. Capture Vol 3, 2011, 7-14
Brown, J. (2007). Feedback: The student perspective. Research in PostCompulsory Education 12 (1), 33–51
Price, M., Handley, K., Millar, J. & O'Donovan, B. (2010). Feedback: all
that effort, but what is the effect?, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher
Education, 35(3), 277-289
Robinson, S., Pope, D. & Holyoak, L. (2011). Can we meet their
expectations? Experiences and perceptions of feedback in first year
undergraduate students, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education,
DOI:10.1080/02602938.2011.629291, p1-13

similar documents