Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Reconceptualising assessment feedback: a key to improving student learning?

Beaumont, C., O’Doherty, M. & Shannon, L. (2011). Reconceptualising assessment feedback: a key to improving student learning?. Studies in Higher Education, doi:10.1080/03075071003731135

This article reports the findings of research into the student experience of assessment in school/college and higher education, and the impact of transition upon student perceptions of feedback quality. It involved a qualitative study of 23 staff and 145 students in six schools/colleges and three English universities across three disciplines. Results show that students experience a radically different culture of feedback in schools/colleges and higher education, with the former providing extensive formative feedback and guidance, while the latter focuses upon independent learning judged summatively. Students perceived quality feedback as part of a dialogic guidance process rather than a summative event. A model is proposed, the Dialogic Feedback Cycle, to describe student experiences at school/college, and suggestions are made as to how it can be used as a tool to scaffold the development of independent learning throughout the first year of university study.

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