To increase feedback agency for students, provide better support for casual staff and improve digital literacy within their faculty, the Faculty of Health joined forces with the LX.lab for a collaborative workshop.

The first in a planned series of half-day workshops was held on the last day in March. With a range of presenters looking at student feedback from a variety of angles, the workshop bristled with the energy of academics and professionals breaking out of the Zoom room and sharing ideas in a face-to-face environment.

Feedback agency, not Feedback literacy

Marty van de Weyer will be a familiar name to Futures readers, having led a recent report on cultural change in student feedback, and he has recently investigated why students may not be reading feedback and how to establish trust by building two-way relationships. His presentation on Visualising Feedback kicked off the workshop following a brief introduction by Associate Dean (Teaching & Learning) Lynn Sinclair. Marty’s segment invited participants to reflect on the wider scope problems around student feedback. It included an interactive Feedback Flow Mapping exercise that revealed the importance of planning feedback in order to create better feedback agency for students.

Also from the LX.lab, Richard Ingold offered 7 quick feedback hints for casual staff:

  • Focus on the future – feedback should help students change and improve, not be used to justify assessment marks
  • Prioritise in-process feedback – feedback is most effective when students can act upon it while they’re learning
  • Institute the feedback 5 – Set aside 5 minutes for giving feedback in each class, “My feedback for today is…”
  • Check the message – ask students directly what they have understood from your feedback: “What should you change next time?”
  • Pick a level – with assessments, decide whether you are giving feedback on the whole text, a section of it, its grammar, and stick to that alone.
  • Make feedback explicit & actionable – feedback is only effective when it’s really clear and when students can do something with it
  • Support & share – feedback practices are best learnt from colleagues; they understand your context and the challenges of your discipline

Elizabeth Smith showed how working with students to increase their feedback agency can add value to your subject. She presenting three levels of embedding feedback agency:

  • Quick – talk about feedback agency and refer to resources
  • Less quick – embed and embellish existing resources
  • Little bit longer – build it into a wider feedback ecosystem

Some useful resource links for students if you want to go the ‘Quick’ route are:

The power of audio and video feedback

Andrew Francois shared some useful approaches to try out direct, verbal feedback by using audio and video – an effective way to ‘humanise’ the learning experience and strengthen the sense of teacher presence in an online learning environment. After attendees shared success (and horror!) feedback stories, Andrew stepped us through a 7-point framework for effective audio/video feedback, developed by Michael Henderson and Michael Phillips from Monash University.

In one of the sessions aimed at Subject Coordinators, Aimee Lamb from the Faculty of Health talked about her experiences providing video feedback in Nursing as a response to remote learning. One page of feedback in writing was transformed into a 3-minute video, which proved to be a learning process – but also a highly effective time-saver.

Rubrics and Speedgrader in action

While LX.lab’s Sylvia Singh ran an interactive session for casual staff on marking in Canvas using Speedgrader, the Faculty of Health’s Sonia Matiuk discussed the use of rubrics for feedback. After asking some key questions via Mentimeter (What are the benefits of using rubrics? What are your top tips for constructing a rubric?), an in-class activity that included students in the design of the feedback was presented as a case study.

More to come…

We have a wealth of resources and blogs on the theme of student feedback including this comprehensive collection. If you’re looking for more resources/help on feedback – or if your faculty is interested in a similar collaborative workshop as the one described here – please get in touch with the LX.lab.

Images by Fidel Fernando

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