Past Event details

Developing Feedback Literacy: Key Challenges and Future Horizons

Thursday, 13 February 2020

This seminar will consider ways in which feedback literacy can be understood and developed further within institutions and across the disciplines, and will explore how staff and students can work together to enhance assessment and feedback practices. Feedback can be an invaluable part of the learning process, and feedback given to students on their work has been shown to have the greatest potential influence on their learning (Hattie 2009). However, feedback remains a challenging area of higher education policy and practice, and recurrent dissatisfaction expressed by students with feedback via measures such as the National Student Survey (NSS) in England and Wales means that institutions are under increasing pressure to improve practice within this area. This seminar seeks to explore an increasing move within the sector towards conceptualising and developing students’ feedback literacy via a learning-focused approach. We will discuss understandings of feedback literacy as well as the shift towards improving students’ engagement with feedback, in order to move away from previous transmission-focused models of feedback.


Presenters and Facilitators:

Dr Kieran Balloo is a Lecturer in the Department of Higher Education at the University of Surrey where he is part of the Surrey Assessment and Learning Lab. His research interests broadly concentrate on exploring and unpacking the ‘student experience’ through examining: students’ transitions into and through university; how students regulate their own and others’ learning; and assessment and feedback practices.

Dr Edd Pitt is the Programme Director for the Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education and Senior Lecturer in Higher Education and Academic Practice at the University of Kent, UK. Edd is also a Visiting Fellow at Deakin University, Australia within the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning (CRADLE). His principle research field is assessment and feedback with a particular focus upon staff and student's emotional processing during feedback. In his most recent research he has been collaborating with academics in the UK and Australia to further understand how staff and students develop feedback literacy.

Dr Teresa McConlogue is a Principal Teaching Fellow at UCL. Her main area of interest is assessment, especially ways of bridging the gap between theory and practice. She is interested in what teachers and students learn from involvement in peer and collaborative assessment.

Dr Alex Standen is a Principal Teaching Fellow at UCL. She oversees the academic development of early career and probationary staff, doctoral supervisors and personal tutors. Her research interests include postgraduate research student development and student-supervisor relationships.

Dr Francesca Perruzzo holds a PhD in Sociology of Education and Critical Disability Studies at the UCL Institute of Education and is Associate Teaching Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She is currently a Senior Post-Graduate Teaching Assistant at the UCL - Institute of Education and her interests lie in sociological approaches to disability policies and practices in higher education. Her doctoral research challenges ableism in higher education, investigating the production of disability discourses, their impact of students' subjectivities, and their implications for inclusive policies and practices and equity in opportunities in academic contexts.



Keynote: Dr Edd Pitt, University of Kent

Towards the Development of Student Feedback Literacy: Tackling the Big Issues of Student Satisfaction, Transmission and Passive Recipience of Feedback

The assessment and feedback literature has recently explored the conceptual elements of feedback literacy, with a particular focus upon how students might develop the ‘understandings, capacities and dispositions needed to make sense of information and use it to enhance work or learning strategies’ (Carless and Boud 2018, 1315). In this keynote I will explore how shifting practice towards student-centred models of feedback demands a better understanding of how educators view their own and their students’ responsibilities. I will suggest that making merely changes to the delivery of feedback is aligned with an outdated, transmission-focused model of feedback, rather than a more contemporary learning-focused approach where emphasis is placed on student engagement with feedback and the resulting impact (Pitt, Winstone & Nash, under review, Winstone & Carless, 2019). The keynote will also explore the NSS Assessment and feedback questions in light of their dominant place in the discourse surrounding assessment and feedback. In particular I will discuss how universities often respond by making changes to the promptness, quality, and utility of feedback, without really knowing whether these initiatives are likely to lead to higher satisfaction, and perhaps more importantly, enhance students’ learning (Winstone & Pitt, 2017).


Case Study 1: Dr Kieran Balloo, University of Surrey

A Framework for Embedding the Development of Feedback Literacy into Subject Content Across Disciplines

Feedback literacy can be viewed as a core graduate attribute that supports students’ future work capacities, so there is a case for embedding the development of student feedback literacy within the core curriculum. Drawing on Carless and Boud’s (2018) feedback literacy framework, we coded a sample of qualifications frameworks for evidence of concepts pertaining to feedback literacy in graduate or threshold outcomes. We found that most frameworks incorporate the development of feedback literacy skills related to ‘making judgements based on feedback’. However, frameworks lack a focus on developing attributes related to ‘appreciating feedback’ and ‘taking action based on feedback’. Furthermore, skills related to ‘managing the affective challenges of feedback’ are most prevalent in frameworks for ‘applied’ disciplines. Based on these findings and consultation with subject-matter experts, we have identified elements of subject content that may have relevance to learning about feedback literacy across disciplines.


Case Study 2: Dr Alex Standen, Dr Teresa McConlogue and Francesca Perruzzo, University College London

Changing Feedback Practices Across an Institution

Changing educational practices across an institution is problematic (Bloxham 2016, Forsyth et al. 2015). At UCL, we are exploring the use of saturation Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as a way of stimulating change around feedback practices. We focussed on feedback as the timing, quality, consistency and usefulness of feedback is frequently commented on in student satisfaction surveys, student consultative committees and student focus groups. The vehicle for change is a two hour workshop. In this SRHE Network session we will give a brief overview of the workshop and discuss what we have learnt from subsequent evaluation data; participants will then have a chance to explore the resources used in the workshop. We will also be joined by a UCL student who will present the work they have undertaken as part of our ChangeMakers initiative to enhance assessment and feedback practices.

Network: Learning, Teaching And Assessment
Date(s): Thursday, 13 February 2020
Times: 11:00 - 15:45
Location: SRHE, 73 Collier St, London N1 9BE
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Event Files
File Details Download
Towards the Development Student FB literacy
Dr. Edd Pitt
Changing Feedback Practices Across an Institution
Teresa McConlogue Alex Standen Francesca Peruzzo
A Framework for Embedding the Development of Feedback Literacy into Subject Content Across Disciplin
Kieran Balloo University of Surrey
Action on Feedback: Giving Good Quality Feedback
Changing Feedback Practices Across an Institution
Teresa McConlogue Alex Standen Francesca Peruzzo
Teaching toolkits Six tips for developing good feedback practices
Teaching toolkits Helping students to understand assessment
Teaching toolkits Peer review of feedback
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