Encourage interaction and dialogue around learning
Dialogue between students and between staff and students plays an important role in student success. Students need to engage in dialogue around feedback. Large first year classes make one-to-one interaction between staff and students difficult, but meaningful dialogue can take place between students. Personal Response Sytems (PRS) can also aid in this.
Ways to do this:
- Students discuss the written feedback they have been given with their peers and suggest strategies for future improvement
- Students ‘mark’ a draft which is then modified in response to the feedback provided
- Structure group projects so that students discuss the criteria and standards expected at the start and then review progress against the criteria
- Use the PRS to promote debate about the right answer when the results are shown
- Minute papers – results used at the beginning of the next session
- Mid-module feedback from students
Some Queen’s examples:
CSC2007 Games Programming
The feedback from the milestones engages students in a dialogue with the member of staff and also with each other if the project is team-based. Equally the engagement with the marking criteria and weightings encourages dialogue. In two of the milestone submissions students are asked to indicate what they would like audio feedback on.
In this module the students engage in online discussion groups which are moderated by tutors. Whilst these are generally related to work set by tutors they sometimes range over wider topics and sometimes they are used as part of the grooup projects.
CRM3004 Development of Policing
Part of the assessment for this module is a 3500 word essay which accounts for 50% of the module mark. The essay is handed in at the end of November. The tutorial in week 6 provides students with an opportunity to receive feedback on thier essay plan. For the tutorial students prepared a 750 word essay plan. In addition they had to answer three self-assessment questions: what are the strengths, what are the weaknesses and what are the possible areas for improvement? In the tutorial the anonymous essay plans were distributed around the class. Each member of the class peer-assessed the work of a colleague using the same three questions: what were the strengths, weaknesses and what could be done better? Students could then compare their own assessments with that from a colleague. There was a general discussion about the exercise and marking guidelines.
What the students say:
'Yes, it flagged up issues that were common across the board and reminded me that I should avoid making these mistakes'.
'Yes as I could see how my own reflections were in fact similar to my marker'.
'Yes, it helped me focus on my weaker areas in essays/assignments'.