Feedback on Student Coursework

For anyone learning a new skill, knowledge, or set of ideas, feedback on current levels of performance or knowledge is crucially important. We know that this holds true for learning a musical instrument, competing in sports, developing a craft or art. It holds true for all forms of learning, and yet, often in the busy and time-constrained landscape of higher education, opportunities for learners to get direct feedback on their individual performance and progress can be limited. For the academic and specialist staff involved, providing feedback can be a challenge, particularly with large class sizes, or with rigid assessment regimes. Further, the experience of many educators is that students often don’t seem to act on the feedback that we do provide, with little sign of improvement in the quality of their work, or the transfer of experience gained in one module to others.

These are all important issues, for which there is a growing body of research findings, as well as practice recommendations.  Here we aim to provide an introductory overview of such work, link to useful resources, and support the development of a strategic approach to feedback and assessment within your academic discipline(s).

The Developing Engagement with Feedback Toolkit (DEFT) 

N.E. Winstone & R. A. Nash

Funded by the UK’s Higher Education Academy, this toolkit provides a number of suggestions which will encourage students to make more effective use of the feedback with which they are provided, and allow course teams to consider ways in which they might approach assessment and feedback which are more likely to promote engaged learning.

‘It’d be useful, but I wouldn’t use it’: barriers to university students’ feedback seeking and recipience. Naomi E. Winstone, Robert A. Nash, James Rowntree & Michael Parker, Studies in Higher Education Vol. 42 , Iss. 11, pp 2026-2041, 2017

Supporting Learners’ Agentic Engagement with Feedback: A systematic Review and a Taxonomy of Recipience Processes.  Naomi E. Winstone, Robert A. Nash, Michael Parker & James Rowntree,   Educational Psychologist  Vol. 52 , Iss. 1, pp 17-37, 2017

Rethinking models of feedback for learning: the challenge of design. David Boud & Elizabeth Molloy, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education Vol 38, Iss 6, pp 698-712, 2013

Formative assessment and self-regulated learning: a model and seven principles of good feedback practice. David J. Nicol & Debra Macfarlane-Dick, Studies in Higher Education  Vol 31, Iss 2, pp 199-218, 2007

It is worth checking locally, within your institution if a Feedback policy exists.  Often such policies will detail turnaround times for marking and feedback on work to students.

Check back soon for videos, case studies, etc

Engaging with feedback – lecturers and students working together to take a programme approach in DkIT,  21st February 2018, 1-4 pm.

Giving and Receiving Feedback: Responsibility-Sharing towards Enhanced Engagement in Maynooth University, 23rd February, 10am – 1pm, School of Education Building, Room 231.


Engaging with Feedback

by Naomi Winstone | Crannóg Interview