Using feed-forward strategies in higher education. The terrifying novel assignment: using feed-forward to improve students’ ability and confidence on assignments that test new skills

Hine, Benjamin A. and Northeast, Tony (2016) Using feed-forward strategies in higher education. The terrifying novel assignment: using feed-forward to improve students’ ability and confidence on assignments that test new skills. New Vistas, 2 (1). pp. 28-33. ISSN 2056-9688

[img]
Preview
PDF
Hine_Northeast 2016 New_Vistas_V2I1.pdf - Published Version

Download (181kB) | Preview

Abstract

Within higher education it is strongly agreed
that feedback is the most important way
of raising student achievement and
encouraging student learning (Gibbs and Simpson,
2005). Feedback is regarded as inseparable from the
learning process, and is integral to several theories of
learning (e.g. Kolb, 1984). With regards to academic
performance, feedback helps students understand
their performance, as well as how to perform to a
higher standard on future assignments. In addition,
feedback provides students with the confidence and
the belief they have control over their success in
higher education, as well as ongoing motivation
throughout their degree.
However, over the past 15 years, numerous
problems with feedback have been identified. Indeed,
students report sector-wide dissatisfaction with
feedback (Bloxham, 2014) and statistics from many
universities show students do not check their written
assignment feedback when they receive their marks
(Gibbs and Simpson, 2005). When they do engage,
they often report that feedback is not useful to them,
that they struggle to apply the comments and
suggestions given to future assignments, and that
feedback looks back at work that has been done,
rather than forward to how they can improve
(Duncan, 2007). This is supported by Evans (2013)
in her review of assignment feedback in higher
education that states student dissatisfaction with
feedback is well reported, and most complaints focus
on the technicalities of feedback, including timing,
content, organisation of assignment activities and
lack of clarity about requirements.
It is therefore suggested there is a ‘feedback
gap’ (Evans, 2013; Sadler, 2010), representing a
disassociation between the efforts and guidance
of lecturers and utilisation by students. In other
words, a fundamental mismatch is occurring
between how feedback is currently administered
and utilised, and how feedback should impact on
the learning experience. At present, most students
view feedback in a linear fashion (Murtagh and Baker,
2009), where students complete an assignment, and
receive feedback, but are not engaged with markers’
comments. This linear model of feedback (Figure 1)
demonstrates an absence of reflection and
application of feedback comments. This directly contradicts theories of learning that suggest
feedback is a fundamental part of the learning
process and should be fed into a circular as opposed to linear model (Beaumont, O’Doherty, and Shannon, 2011; Kolb, 1984). Central to this misinterpretation is the belief that tutors are delivering feedback at a time when students cannot use this effectively (i.e. in a formative
manner). Addressing issues of timing, as well
as the associated dissatisfaction felt by students,
is clearly a vital endeavour.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Education
Psychology
Depositing User: Tony Northeast
Date Deposited: 04 May 2016 12:17
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2016 13:39
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/2012

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Menu