Learning at City Conference – still time to book

Learning at City 2012 banner

Each member of the Education Support Team is speaking at the  Learning at City Conference on Wednesday 13th June. With a keynote from Professor Graham Gibbs it looks to be a worthwhile event to attend.

Our sessions

1.20-2.05 Making assessment count project with Kate Reader and Professor Gunther Saunders

2.15-3 Constructing online assessment with Anna Campbell, Isabelle Marcoul and Svenja Erich

2.15 -3 Students use of lecture capture for revision with Mo Pamplin and Kate Reader

Click here for the full programme for the day

There is still time to register for this event if you are City University London staff. Click here to register

A Guide to Writing Feedback for Undergraduates: By Academics and Students

Top ten tips

I ran a session at the LDC conference last week called ‘an undergraduate guide to feedback’.  I showed a few of the different ways in which we deliver feedback to students in the School of  Social Sciences.  This included using Wiki’s for continuous feedback, using the quiz tool in moodle to deliver operational feedback to students, and paying PhD students to write a guide to feedback for undergraduates with the purpose of providing students with a clearer idea of what we expect them to do with their feedback, and PhD students a more comprehensive idea of the types of feedback they should be giving undergraduates when they are marking.

I then opened the topic up to the floor for debate, first we discussed the different types of feedback that others were using in their Schools, and this ranged from using video and audio to providing group feedback for assignments.

We also had some students in the audience so I asked them to think of the most useful and productive feedback they had received as students and they came up with the following list of feedback preferences:

  • General points delivered to the entire class before they received their grade
  • Feedback that is delivered electronically as they often have difficulties deciphering handwriting
  • Lessons learned from previous years students
  • The option to discuss feedback with a tutor or module leader specifically in the first year
  • Voice recording (Audio Feedback)

We then moved the session on to try and write a series of tips for academic staff writing feedback for undergraduates.  The audience was made up of Academics, Support Staff and Students who all helped input into the following list of tips/ideas:

  • Consider giving general feedback across the class before grades are released so students engage.
  • Stay away from Jargon and ensure students understand the language you are using i.e. critical discussion
  • Criteria specific – link your feedback to your assessment criteria
  • Don’t hand write – consider electronic feedback (moodle?) or typed cover sheets, students have problems with handwriting.
  • All feedback needs to be appropriate to the type of assessment – one size does not fit all!
  • Suggest solutions, don’t just point out errors!
  • Make sure you let the students know when you are giving feedback – flag it as feedback!
  • Be creative consider audio, peer assessment and other innovative forms of  feedback.

Conference papers accepted for Europlat

Europlat mapKate and I were pleased to learn today that we have had two papers accepted for the twelfth European Congress of Psychology convening in Istanbul in July this year. We attended the conference in 2010 and were impressed at the breadth of work being discussed.
The conference attracts delegates from across Europe and we will be speaking to the teaching and learning strand of the conference (Europlat). The papers that were accepted are

‘Using technology to innovate in Psychology Higher Education in a UK university: a case study’
This paper looks at the move from a traditional face to face approach to teaching to the use of a VLE (Moodle), virtual classrooms and online tools for assessment, grading and feedback. This move to a more blended approach has been prompted by the changing situation in UK higher education funding – with students needing to work part time in order to fund their education and consequently needing a more flexible approach to their learning. This paper addresses how City University London has approached this and some of the challenges we have faced.

The second paper is entitled ‘Student feedback and online marking in an undergraduate psychology program: a case study’  At City University London, we are gong to be taking a feed forward approach to feedback in the undergraduate psychology program. We will be working with the PhD students to produce a detailed guide for students.  This guide will be designed to help students understand what they are expected to do with their feedback, and how they can apply it to their next assignment.

We are looking forward to spending some time learning from our colleagues at this inspiring conference. We will, of course, blog whilst we are at the conference.