This is my experience of supporting students to develop feedback literacy in the undergraduate second-year studio subject 41186 Social Impact of IS Studio, which is part of the Bachelor of Information Systems. I worked with the principles and standards of SBL (Studio-Based Learning) to give students an iterative learning experience where progress is assessed along the way via a series of checkpoints. At the heart of these checkpoints is feedback. Students work on an authentic assessment task collaboratively to conceptualise, develop and complete a project, evaluate and give peers feedback, and reflect on the process and learning experiences. My intention was to engage students in the feedback process so that they understand and appreciate the role of effective feedback (which is kind, justified, specific, and constructive) in their learning and encourage reflection to make sound academic judgments about their own work and the work of others.
Modelling feedback practices with videos and scenarios
Students need to learn about the language and emotion attached to feedback, which we approached by recording demonstration videos to model how to evaluate feedback received from their peers. At FEIT, we refer to this approach as closing the feedback loop. These videos can be found on the FEIT Community Pedagogy Site in Canvas.
In 41186, I set up opportunities for students to develop feedback literacy skills through intra and inter group evaluations based on formative assessment tasks. I added peer to peer feedback to the Canvas subject site showing how to ‘close the loop’ with three different scenarios involving assessment types including teamwork, artefacts going into a Portfolium and project presentation. The scenarios are as below:
- Scenario 1: Using feedback to foster good group work
- Scenario 2: Giving feedback and guidance to a peer creating project artefacts
- Scenario 3: Giving feedback on a project presentation/brief
Students engaged with the interactive videos at various times during the session, and did two summative assessment tasks related to peer feedback. They were provided with separate rubrics in Canvas for both assessment tasks.
- Intra-group evaluation: where a student evaluates the contribution of the rest of the team members and provide feedback to them on collaboration, communication, and other abilities to provoke creativity to improve the specific project they are working on.
- Inter-group evaluation: each team is assigned to evaluate one other team’s output i.e., the artefacts created at the relevant stage of the project.
Intra-group evaluation rubric
The points below show the evaluation criteria for the intra-group evaluation rubric where students evaluate the contribution of their team members for:
- Collaboration: ability to contribute to the group and individual tasks for effective teamwork functioning to improve outcomes of group discussions, i.e. the sprint deliverables.
- Communication: ability to work as an effective team member to communicate effectively, respectfully and responsively within the team in the context of the project.
- Role and responsibility: ability to demonstrate an understanding of the role and responsibility of the conduct and management of the project to meet all deliverables.
- Conflict management and resolution: ability to demonstrate active listening and effectively manage and resolve conflict/s within the team to achieve a collegial, cooperative, ethical and constructive working environment.
Students are graded on a scale of very little/no effort to significant effort. For this I used the Rubric and Peer review features in Canvas.
The inter-group evaluation was done as an in-class activity. On the day, I used an online team matcher to allocate teams to evaluate each other. Based on this matching, the students in the evaluating team assessed and evaluated the assigned team to improve on the project artefacts. The intention is to give students the opportunity to experience the kind of external peer evaluation that usually happens in workplaces. The graphic below shows the evaluation criteria for the inter-group evaluation rubric. For this I used the Student Annotation File feature in Canvas. The rubric is divided into two parts.
- Contribution to the Studio Concepts Wiki page, which is an editable page in Canvas where students share resources throughout the semester.
- Some items shown in these white boxes relate to project understanding, artefacts developed, ease with the presenting technology and tools, participation in the group reflective commentaries and project brief on a scale of very little/no effort to excellent work.
The importance of anonymity was considered in the inter-group evaluation to reduce peer pressure for students. Once students submitted their peer feedback on Canvas for the matching team, snippets of the feedback were shared with the receiving team in their private channels in the virtual Teams class. The students who provided evaluations were evaluated based on the quality of their constructive feedback. In the context of this studio, constructive feedback is information that could be used to improve the work in the next iteration of the project.
Feedback from students
The impact on student learning was evident in student comments throughout the session. Students mentioned that participating in this process was very helpful as they received “more” feedback and from different viewpoints. Also, providing feedback to their peers on the feedback given, helped them to improve on collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking. Students noticed that this feedback loop nudged them into self-reflecting on what they could do better.
It was time savvy for me as students giving each other feedback gave me more time to focus on moderating the iterative learning process and offering assistance to students that were struggling with the process of learning.