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Report of Lecturer Responses
Engaging with feedback | Role of criteria and rubric | Student reactions | Time lapse between qualitative and quantitative | Application for some education students | Suggestions for Future Implementation |
Engaging with feedback ^
  "And they don’t go back and read their assessment task they just look at the mark and put it aside. But as L said, they had to go back and go and look at the comments and see how it matched with their mark. I think that was an important process of learning."
  "Well it was interesting because they, a lot of them spoke about the anxiety of getting qualitative feedback first but not knowing what their mark was, but they were forced to read the comments. And so once they got the mark back and had the relief of knowing how they went, a number of them said they would not have read all the comments just going to the mark and keeping going. This time they had to because that was the feedback they had, so they just read through the comments to gauge if it was positive or negative. …"
  "Similar to S but more specific the most helpful aspect of this has been facilitating students return to their assessment a significant amount of time after. I think what you said was correct. Students generally put an assessment away, but a lot of these students went back to it and looked again. Often that metaphase doesn’t exist but we created an environment where it was more likely to happen, to the benefit of those students."
  "It actually shows the years and years of wasted time we’ve spent writing comments in the past, because clearly they haven’t done that sort of thing if they’ve got the quantitative, the numeric mark at the same time have they? Or at all."
Role of criteria and rubric ^
  "I think this kind of project has the possibility for a small amount of students to increase their tacit knowledge, and there have been out of a cohort of 28, only 3 or 4 students who have said ‘I see things in my writing that I’ve never seen before’ or ‘I’m now aware of mistakes that I make regularly that I’ve never understood before’, and understanding base level skills in that way. For those students, it really has impacted their learning in a tangible way. For the other students, I’m not sure there is a lot of evidence that it has impacted them, except to clarify, highlighted the role of criteria and their skill in matching comments to criteria has been sharpened. A lot of those first year students have said ‘I went back and looked for what I had done, particular things in my essay’ so they are assessing themselves, I think, more effectively."
  "There was an overwhelming kind of general feeling that they now understood from a marker’s point of view, and a couple of them said ‘its obvious that they’ve taken the time to read and really understand what I have written, and now I see why I got that mark’ which is good. I think those students will look at their future work from that point of view a little more."
  "Yes, there were about 3 that commented on that, they said ‘oh the lecturer actually does read everything’ and I felt like – ‘well of course we do, how else would we mark the task?’ so that for me was an interesting thing. But reflecting on their learning, because we did this on the first assessment task in this unit, I noticed that by the third one they were super aware of the rubric and using it with their assessment task before they handed it in, and interestingly enough about half the class continued on assessment 2 and 3 marking themselves on the rubric. Which was not stated, I didn’t reinforce it, but because they had done it on the first assessment it just continued on - which I thought amusing - but also they were starting to get more realistic with themselves and are marking themselves more objectively … Another one came specifically to me and said ‘I know I’ve passed my assessment because I’ve addressed all the criteria and I expect to get this mark but I’ve given myself some leeway” and she was spot on. So there’s someone who’s learned from this experience, I can see from that perspective they have learnt to use the rubric more with their task. Instead of going ‘I think it will be about this’ actually looking at the rubric to see what it’s about and addressing the criteria."
  "I just think that for my unit I have found it to be a really useful learning experience for those students. Doing it in the first assessment task really helped them with the planning of their unit [2nd task] and in the last task that they did. They utilised the rubric so much more, especially on the last task. I noticed looking at last years’ students, not that you can compare cohorts, but because they were much more focused on the rubric, the marks seem to have shifted up slightly so it was an interesting learning curve for them."
Student reactions (including anxiety)  ^
  "Emotion wise, I think it generated a fair bit of anxiety for the students who had never done anything like this before. … Most of them could see the value of it. Others had an emotive response which didn’t allow them to see the value of it. I think it’s hard for them to hold that intention, and that might be because it was a first year unit, I’m not sure. … There were a few requests “please don’t do this again” which indicates that some of the students found the stress outweighed any potential benefit, but I would have to say that for the majority of them, the majority engaged. That’s not really to do with perception but implicitly that means that they understand that there is value even though it was a difficult process for them to experience. … I think it’s really difficult to find a balance between understanding that this is a worthwhile process and then dealing with the emotional difficulty of anticipating something that’s not going to come when you want it."
  "I think that the role of anxiety differed from student to student. For some it was constructive, for others it was powerfully destructive or not constructive."
  "… the high levels of anxiety came from both [high and low achieving students]."
  "Yeah I would say that’s probably right, especially if the student is used to being a high achiever they would want to know they had achieved well again, and the students that didn’t do so well, probably even when they handed in the assignment they had a sense of that and for them I would say it was wanting to know how poorly they had done - if they had done enough to pass. So I guess the anxiety comes from two different places depending on the student you are talking about."
  "So the anxiety levels were high until they got their mark."
  "… when I announced to the group what was going to happen they were pretty interested, intrigued if you like with the whole process and very willing to co-operate."
Time lapse between qualitative and quantitative ^
Interviewer: "… was there anything else you thought they found particularly unhelpful?"
  "The time lapse."
  "Well, we didn’t have an issue, because it was the first assessment task they got their qualitative and I said to them, it was already written that they would get it two weeks later and then a week later the quantitative."
  "That’s what I did too but my students hated waiting the week."
Application for some education students ^
  "Just there was an interesting note from S’s students actually, when I was reading through their feedback a lot of them actually took it to the next level and thought of how they might apply it to their teaching in the future, which was really interesting."
Lecturer Suggestions for Future Implementation ^
  "I think I would probably rather give the two [types of feedback] at the same time and then use activities … because … they wanted to know their mark and then be able to read the comments instead of getting the comments. I don’t know, it would be interesting to do the other way round to see how it works out. Quantitative first and then the qualitative."
  "The literature says you’ll find very little engagement with the comments if you do it that way. It might potentially be good to release the comments, have them [provide] feedback in some way and then immediately release their mark. … they have to do something that makes them read the comments."
  "I think I’d probably change the whole unit to only having 2 assessments rather than 3. Firstly because, if you know the students are going to have to read the comments then you’re going to put more time into it, that’s the first thing. But I think in actually asking the students to respond to your qualitative, in actual fact you’re adding another assignment in, which may not even be under policy the right thing to do. But if we reduced the number of assessments to two then, you know there is word count you have to adhere to for each level, and the feedback they give on the qualitative could actually be part of the word count."
  "… I think in retrospect I should have swapped assessment one and two and had the essay at the beginning. I mean week 10 bringing it in, … I think the other issue is that E said she spent a lot longer marking them in order to have enough qualitative comments to make the research work. … getting [the qualitative feedback] back so late and so close to the exams may have countered that enthusiasm I feel."
  "I’d like to try a 3-day lapse rather than a week lapse and see if that helped balance the anxiety with the learning outcomes and I wouldn’t make the release dependent on other students having fed back."
  "... or if it was automated like A said as soon as they submit the comments about the qualitative they get their quantitative, instead of 3 days."
  "No, no because I actually think that the gap in time was important to, I keep using the word tension, to keep a healthy tension there. I think that period of time is important to allow questioning to happen."
  "I think that obviously this project is wonderful for your third years but I think that moving forward, it would be important to implement this with first years so they get that knowledge straight up. Because in the end what we are doing is talking about changing people’s perceptions of what assessment is and how assessment should be done, for students to learn more effectively of their own accord."
  "… This project has highlighted that students, the majority of students, perceive assessment as discreet experiences rather than an ongoing spiral learning experience. The feed forward aspect I think we have touched on here but there is more to do in shaping assessment to redefine what it’s really about. That is building a house rather than building a room, or completing a room and walking away. A few students have reflected on that, and I think that is the true value of the project, if we can redefine the culture of assessment or a philosophy of assessment I think that could potentially have really profound effects on student behaviour and learning and emotional responses. …"
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