Thursday, January 29, 2015

Talking sense about feedback - don't change the feedback, change the students

Pigeon Once again, Graham Gibbs latest post on feedback on the SEDA blog makes so much sense it's impossible not to share it (Making feedback work involves more than giving feedback). A few choice quotes to persuade you to go and read it:

Successful students make quite different use of feedback than unsuccessful students and one approach to making feedback more effective is to simply change average and weak students’ habits so that they use feedback as successful students do.

One of the reasons some students read and pay attention to feedback, while others don’t, is not that some are ‘assessment literate’ while others are not, but that some do not see the point: it does not help them achieve what they want to achieve. Idea No. 1 outlined the different orientations students have been found to display. They want to achieve different things and they pay attention to different things as a consequence. If all a student is interested in is passing or progression to the next stage, then actually learning about the subject matter from feedback may not be on their agenda, especially if the course is almost over or there is no follow-up course that builds on the subject matter. Changing students’ orientation is not at all easy but it is possible to make it difficult for students to pass unless they engage seriously with the course, whether they like it or not. It is also possible to make it easy for students to ignore the teacher’s agenda and still pass, and many courses and their assessment regimes achieve this dubious distinction. Teachers may bemoan how instrumental students have become, but they also often collude to make instrumentalism quite a successful strategy, in order to avoid too many students failing.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

HE Bioscience Teacher of the Year 2015

HE Bioscience Teacher of the Year The Higher Education Bioscience Teacher of the Year Award seeks to identify the UK's leading bioscience Higher Education teachers recognizing the invaluable role played by teachers in HE. This award is run by Oxford University Press, The Society of Biology and the Heads of University Biosciences. The award recognizes outstanding learning and teaching practice in the biosciences. The competition is open to all employed bioscience teachers in the UK HE system and rewards lecturers who:
  • Display individual excellence through the design and development of approaches to teaching that have proven successful in promoting bioscience student learning and achievement
  • Undertake scholarly and professional developmental activities that actively influence and enhance the learning of their students
  • Support colleagues and influence bioscience student learning beyond their own department and institution

The finalists for the HE Bioscience Teacher of the Year Award 2015 have just been announced and they are:
Dr Alan Cann, University of Leicester
Dr Mark Clements, University of Westminster
Dr Dave Lewis, University of Leeds
Dr Sohag Saleh, Imperial College London
Congratulations to my fellow shortlisted candidates and to all those who were nominated for this year's award. The finalists will now begin the rigorous second stage of the judging process, involving the completion and presentation of a case study, and a 45 minute interview with the judging panel. The winner will be announced at the Heads of University Biosciences (HUBS) Spring Meeting, at Chicheley Hall, Buckinghamshire at the beginning of May.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Students gain more from video-recorded presentations

Video As someone who's currently struggling to organize 300 student oral presentations (though my colleagues are performing heroic tasks), I'm  attracted to the idea that video recording presentations is of high feed-forward value to students. Is this finally a good reason to spend all that money on "lecture" capture technology?

I need to try this. Maybe on a smaller cohort than 300 to start with though...

Karen Murphy & Shane Barry. Feed-forward: students gaining more from assessment via deeper engagement in video-recorded presentations. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 06 Jan 2015 doi: 10.1080/02602938.2014.996206
Presentation feedback can be limited in its feed-forward value, as students do not have their actual presentation available for review whilst reflecting upon the feedback. This study reports on students’ perceptions of the learning and feed-forward value of an oral presentation assessment. Students self-marked their performance immediately after their presentation, after reviewing a video recording of their presentation and wrote a reflection relating to their experience. Survey data revealed that most students viewed all aspects of the assessment task positively and they rated the process as providing substantial learning value. They also indicated that the video review and overall assessment exercise provided valuable feed-forward information that would assist them to improve future presentations. These data were further supported by content analysis of the qualitative data. Students noted that they perceived the video review task as self-enabling. They also noted that the self-reflection and self-marking exercise provided time for thought although it was personally challenging. Therefore, via carefully designed assessment, it is possible to provide a deep learning opportunity from oral presentations that can feed-forward to enhance students’ future presentations.