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How can we use online feedback to maximise engagement with the assessment criteria? UCL E-Learning Development Grant project report, August 2016

Douarin, E; Vogel, M; (2016) How can we use online feedback to maximise engagement with the assessment criteria? UCL E-Learning Development Grant project report, August 2016. UCL (University College London): London, UK. Green open access

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Overview: In 2015 we received an E-Learning Development Grant of £2,000 from UCL Digital Education to investigate how digital feedback could maximise engagement with assessment criteria. Our context was the Topics in Microeconomics module, taken by 96 2nd year undergraduates from three different programmes. The module was assessed through a final exam (worth 75% of the final mark) and a coursework (25% of the final mark). Both the exam and the four-part coursework included essay writing, calculations, and production of graphs. They were preceded by an optional formative assessment which required students to solve half of a past-exam paper. This study explored the students' experiences as they undertook the formative assessment and summative coursework, focusing on their use of the marking criteria and their perceptions of the feedback they received. They engaged with marking criteria and feedback first in Moodle Assignment and second in Turnitin Assignment. / Methods: To investigate how students used the marking criteria and feedback and how they encountered the feedback they received on this course, we conducted an initial voluntary survey of their views on assessment criteria and feedback (response rate: 52%; number of respondents: 50). We explored the relationship between these views and other information drawn from data routinely and automatically collected within UCL, including past marks, performance on Topics in Microeconomics, attendance and information collected through Students Evaluation Questionnaires. A self-selected sample of 9 students participated in more depth by recording their responses to a set of questions at the time they encountered their formative and summative feedback. They also took part in a focus group discussing their experience with feedback on Topics in Microeconomics. Transcripts were analysed using NVivo. / Findings The survey illustrated clearly that students engage little with the marking criteria and find it difficult to use them to improve their performances. It also showed that the students who did use the criteria did not necessarily find it easier to judge the quality of their own work or to understand the feedback or mark they had received. Using information about assessment performance in Topics in Microeconomics, we show that the students who submitted the voluntary formative assessment did better in their summative coursework. Their marks are on average 4 points above the marks of those who did not submit their formative coursework. This difference is statistically significant and robust to the addition of a number of controls such as performances in Introduction to Microeconomics (a compulsory pre-requisite for Topics in Microeconomics), attendance, and a measure of conscientiousness (tutor assessed efforts in tutorials). Thus this demonstrates the benefits of engaging with the marking criteria and receiving feedback on their work. In the Student Evaluation Questionnaire for the course, students also reported to be satisfied overall with Topics in Microeconomics and for all questions relating to assessment and feedback in particular, they reported positive views on average. However, the analysis of the information collected through feedback walk-through and the final focus group shows that students' expectations about feedback had not been met. The recordings and focus group data allowed us to summarise what participants considered to be helpful and unhelpful, along with any remedy they proposed.

Type: Report
Title: How can we use online feedback to maximise engagement with the assessment criteria? UCL E-Learning Development Grant project report, August 2016
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: assessment feedback, assessment criteria, marking criteria
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > SSEES
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1521089
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