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Focus On: Feedback from Assessment (2017-18)

Why Feedback from Assessment?

Feedback from assessment was an area for development in nine reviews in Scotland during the last review cycle. The things the review teams thought could be better were timeliness of feedback, helping students to use feedback to understand grades, consistency of feedback across different subject areas and the overall quality of feedback.

The project

We consulted with Scottish HEIs and students’ associations to see where they thought we should focus our work on feedback. As a result, we will work on the following areas to try to improve student experiences of using feedback from their assessed work to help their learning:

  • Feedback from assessment: what do students think?

    We want to look at what students think about the feedback they receive. What’s helpful and what isn’t? We want to work with a wide range of students at all stages of study in a variety of institution types and look at what the evidence might be telling us (for example student-led teaching awards and student surveys such as the National Student Survey). We hope that what we find will feed into policy and practice.

  • Following up on Feedback: where are we now?

    In 2014-15 we ran a Focus On: Assessment and Feedback project. We want to look at how the sector has progressed since then, particularly in institution-wide approaches to improving feedback from assessment and exploring how developments in technology can help to support staff to provide effective feedback as well as supporting students to use the feedback they receive.

Sharing practice event

An event was held on 22 March 2018 to share the work we have produced so far. Colleagues were given an opportunity to look at how the sector has progressed feedback approaches since the 2014-15 Focus On: Assessment and Feedback project. It also explored:

  • institutional approaches to improving feedback
  • working in partnership with students to improve feedback
  • using technology for assessment feedback
  • aligning student and tutor expectation around feedback
  • using data to evaluate practice

Resources from this event will be added to the website shortly.

Twitterchat on #unifeedback

@QAAScotland hosted a twitter chat about what students and staff really think about #unifeedback. We had an interesting discussion covering a range of topics including, what makes feedback helpful and whether the use of technology enhances assessment feedback. You can read the discussion through this twitter moment.

Related resources

Further information on assessment and feedback is included in Enhancement-led Institutional Review (ELIR) reports. Full reports, and analysis of these, are on the ELIR webpages.

In particular, we have produced a Thematic Report on Assessment and Feedback, which summarises practice highlighted during the last cycle of ELIR (2012-2016).

Links between Focus On and the national Enhancement Theme

Our Focus On work will help with the national Enhancement Theme. The current Theme is 'Evidence for Enhancement: Improving the Student Experience'. As part of Focus On, we will be thinking about the questions below and reporting our findings to the Theme leaders.

  • How can we use institutional evidence gathered about the student experience to enhance feedback from assessment processes?
  • How do students use feedback on their assessments now, how can we help students to make better use of the feedback they receive and how can we improve student satisfaction with feedback from assessment?
  • How has the use of technology enriched the evidence we have about effective feedback from assessment? How can we use that evidence to make future improvements?

Want to know more?

For more information or to be added to the Focus On mailing list, contact Amanda Park, Information Coordinator, QAA Scotland.