Thursday, May 26, 2016

The extent of students’ feedback use has a large impact on subsequent academic performance

... which you'd kinda hope it would! However, it's important to get empirical evidence that it does, and this well-conducted study proves that (only marred the the absence of Effect Sizes!). But since correlation does not equal causation, does feedback use improve academic performance, or is it just a proxy for engagement?

Are they using my feedback? The extent of students’ feedback use has a large impact on subsequent academic performance. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 19 May 2016 doi: 10.1080/02602938.2016.1174187
Feedback is known to have a large influence on student learning gains, and the emergence of online tools has greatly enhanced the opportunity for delivering timely, expressive, digital feedback and for investigating its learning impacts. However, to date there have been no large quantitative investigations of the feedback provided by large teams of markers, feedback use by large cohorts of students, nor its impact on students’ academic performance across successive assessment tasks. We have developed an innovative online system to collect large-scale data on digital feedback provision and use. Our markers (n = 38) used both audio and typed feedback modalities extensively, providing 388 ± 4 and 1126 ± 37 words per report for first- and second-year students, respectively. Furthermore, 92% of first year and 85% of second-year students accessed their feedback, with 58% accessing their feedback for over an hour. Lastly, the amount of time students spent interacting with feedback is significantly related to the rate of improvement in subsequent assessment tasks. This study challenges assertions that many students do not collect, or use, their feedback. More importantly, we offer novel insights into the relationships between feedback provision, feedback use and successful academic outcomes.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Heads of University Biosciences Annual Meeting

Heads of University Biosciences Annual Meeting
4-5 May 2016 College Court, University of Leicester
Special Interest Group of the Royal Society of Biology

Organised by Professor Jon Scott (University of Leicester) and Professor Judith Smith (University of Salford)


HE Bioscience Teacher of the Year: Finalist Case Studies
a) Dr Kevin Coward (University of Oxford) Problem based teaching the development of laboratory skills.
In a non-assessed activity, postgraduate students devise an experimental protocol based on a scenario which are then applied in the laboratory. Students take turns in acting as students and teachers. Links the syllabus to the "real world", both science and delivery of teaching.
b) Dr Lesley Morrell (University of Hull) Increasing feedback, reducing marking
In an undergraduate research skills module, staff explain their published papers to students in a seminar programme. Students write eight weekly 500 word "News and Views" summary articles on one of the published papers. Feedback is given weekly leading to feed-forward within a single module, together with a rubric-generated mark. To make the module sustainable, feedback is tapered as the module continues, anonymized feedback is made available to all students. Summative assessment is performed on two student selected articles from the course. There is statistical evidence of mark improvement during the course. Weaker students improve more than stronger students.
c) Dr Katharine Hubbard (University of Hull) Building partnerships with students WINNER
Students in practical classes suffer information overload. Levels of confidence vary considerably. Because the lab environment is stressful, student-produced pre-lab video tutorials and post-lab online revision quizzes were added. Students are involved at all stages - design, execution, evaluation and dissemination.

Dr Anna Zecharia (British Pharmacological Society) The Pharmacological Core Curriculum
The Delphi process used to build a consensus curriculum covering subject knowledge, research and practical skills, transferrable skills. Process is ongoing.

Session One Academic Integrity
Professor Jon Scott (University of Leicester) Introduction & Institutional Strategies
Spectrum from poor academic practice to cheating. Strategies range from deterrence through detection, education and assessment design.
Dr Phil Newton (Swansea University) Ghostwriting - Essay Mills
Essay mills now specialize in custom writing driven by an auction process. Average price for a standard essay starts from 100, turnaround time 1-5 days. Buyers market (Mechanical Turk). Claim to be providing model answers, if student submits the work provided they are committing the offence. Well established business run by many umbrella companies under many different names. Most important response is assessment design - increasing student numbers are a challenge.
Dr Irene Glendinning (Coventry University) European Perspectives on Academic Integrity
Findings of IPPHEAE Erasmus project, 27 EU countries, 5000 survey and interview responses. Wide variation in attitudes and responses across Europe, but very difficult to compare statistics. Inconsistent views on acceptable academic practice across Europe. "Academic Maturity Model" implies UK is doing better than most of EU due to emphasis on training.

Session Two - Designing out Plagiarism
Dr Erica Morris (Anglia Ruskin University) Designing out Plagiarism
Gill Rowell (Turnitin)
Dr Heather McQueen (University of Edinburgh) Plagiarism: The Student View
Session Three Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)
Professor Sean Ryan (Higher Education Academy-STEM) Achieving and demonstrating teaching excellence
Discussion Workshop - What does the TEF mean for us?
Unfortunately I was called away on departmental duties and was not able to attend this session.

Session Four Wider Outreach
Professor Andy Miah (University of Salford) The Pathway to Impact
Professor Miah talked about science communication.
Professor Adam Hart (University of Gloucestershire) Citizen Science
Awareness raising may be more important than the scientific output. Data generation is a bonus.