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Student Attitudes about Assessment Feedback

Type of feedback that is most valuable | How feedback is used by students | Effectiveness of current feedback systems | Trial an alternative feedback system |

1st years 3rd years Postgraduate
Type of feedback that is most valuable ^

"I think I'd probably prefer a mix of three so a mix of verbal, written and being able to see on the rubric exactly where I got marks and where I didn't get marks."

"I really appreciate when the teacher actually well ... takes the time to sit down with you to go through it but I also appreciate having the written as well as getting a come back to it actually see where you went wrong. I mean I had one assignment this year where all they got on the essay so was they just went through fixed my grammar mistakes and there was no comments actually as to where I went wrong or what I could have done better and that bugged me because it wasn't very helpful other than the fact that I should have put a full stop here or a comma here so I appreciate when they actually take the time to give you feedback ..."

"I think rubrics are a really good idea ... I think also receiving oral feedback is good because you sort of if you don't understand what's written you can actually ask them to elaborate further."

"I don't care much about oral feedback, I just prefer to be given the rubric and the feedback comments and the feedback comments work it out myself."

"I once had a teacher this semester who, um, recorded personalised responses and told us how we went verbally that went with the rubric … So that was really good … they gave explicit comments to exactly what you did, so it let you know how you were going and it just made more sense of the rubric … that you were graded against. … It was good, it made you feel like your lecturer took the time to read all the hard work that you put together for them."

"I think when, oh, when your lecturer sends your work back to you and they’ve used ‘track changes’ and commented on specific things in your writing. So you can see, yes that was a good thing or no that was a bad thing. So it lets you know exactly what you need to do to better."

"Stuff that’s actually constructive like … cause often you’ll get like, sometimes you’ll get stuff that’s just like negative and you feel like, ah ok they’re just like going through it and searching for bad stuff. But oftentimes you won’t get anything that’s like positive or ‘ok you did this right’ so you know ok well that’s something I did and I can keep doing that."

"I think on the verbal thing … it’s sort of, I find it better because you can sort of gauge where the lecturer is coming from as well. Text is like, you can interpret it in so many different ways, like depending on word choices and stuff. So like they can at different type of things. So being able to see facial expressions and hear tone in voice like ok you can like sort of distinguish more of where the lecturer is coming from and where your grade is coming from."

"I found that the most comprehensive assessment feedback is the most useful feedback. It helps identify areas that need more work and learning. It is also helpful to be able to discuss feedback because you gain more elaboration and understanding on what areas could have been improved but also what worked well in an assessment."

"Notes throughout the assessments have been the most helpful. Some of the general comments have seemed cryptic and I have had to ask lecturers to elaborate."

"Comments are most useful in finding out where I can improve and rubrics are fantastic guides for me to know what I need to do in order to be assessed."

1st years 3rd years Postgraduate

How feedback is used by students ^

"Well I think you understand that it’s so natural that when you do receive the comments and the mark you completely compare with what they’re saying to what has been said in other assessments, you will look at the comment, look at the way you wrote it and then use what you’ve read in the comments for the next essay."

"It’s helpful especially as a first year, when you’re just figuring out how to adapt to the tertiary education system and you don’t totally understand what they expect 100%, you know, you first essay back I guess, with your comments on that, it helps you, for tells you like which parts of your writing was like fluent and where your strengths were and you can learn to apply them, I guess, if, if you look at that as one of your lecturers has analyzed, it can help you understand where you're going wrong and you can improve them I guess. And so when it comes to writing another essay it was easier because I was able to see what I did well in last time, in certain areas, and I learnt what I should stop doing, it’s kind of shows of what direction you need to take."

"Well I find you mostly get one type of assignment per subject, all the assessment tasks are generally so different that they’re not really related to each other and then you typically go on break and you come back and have a whole new subject.

"You might have another task for that same lecturer, I think about the things that they liked, and I do the same thing. Whereas sometimes lecturers have different opinions of things, so you work for that lecturer."

"[I use feedback] just for future learning mostly. So if I receive feedback and if that’s consistent with previous feedback I’ll kind of be like, ok I really need to work on that for the next … so ..."

[Interviewer: … when you get your feedback from your lecturer …, what’s the first thing you do?]

"... Look for the mark."

[LAUGHTER – general agreement]

"Look for the mark then read the comments against the rubric."

"The feedback is critical as this is my first year studying teaching and the feedback is the only real standard I have to go by to measure how I feel I should be progressing and what I need to do to improve."

"I usually quickly skim the comments and then recall them when preparing for my next assessment task. I never go back to the task and reflect in any depth on my errors. I tend to do well in my assessments so maybe that plays a part in my lack of reflection. If I were to do poorly I would certainly study the comments, marks and assessment to see where I had gone wrong. I will recall areas that I have done poorly in when applying myself to the next assessment task however I would rarely open these comments back up and dissect them."

1st years 3rd years Postgraduate
Effectiveness of current feedback systems ^

"… it does depend, on who you have, and who you’re getting the feedback from, and now with, you know, some of my units I'll get a mix of a lot of different kinds of feedback. And that I find really helps."

"Oh I find when you submit and assignment online through Turnitin, you’ll then receive the feedback online and so it’s limited, because its electronic to what extent the lecturer can actually give you feedback. I mean you get ticks or whatever on the rubric, maybe comments throughout your essay if you’re lucky, but it think there’s definitely less feedback because its all electronic. So it takes a bit of the personal element out of it, with the bigger classes especially when they have to mark 100 essays I find I’ll get less feedback than in a class of 8 people, where the lecturer will actually sit you down personally, they just seem to have more time to actually go through and encourage you, show you where you went wrong, what you did well and where you can improve."

"I mean I find that when I sit in exam or end an assessment, I immediately sort of start analyzing in my head how it went and usually I’m a little hard on myself than even my lecturer is. And so to get other experience with oral feedback straight after and yet you actually, cause you’re still connected to the assignment because you’ve just done it. You absorb a lot more and process more and helps sort of put your mind at rest or at bay you know. But I find its really helpful while I still get engaged in the assignment find if I get feedback two weeks later I’m already disengaged I’ve forgotten what I even did in the assignment and so I don’t find the comments as relevant as you know, so while you’re still engaged I find it really helpful to have that immediate feedback.

"I appreciate that we’ve got the ranking from fail to HD and I like that .. yeah … rather than just pass or fail. Because I’ve had that at a previous uni, … and because we have the star grading system so you can be like distinction star, so I wasn’t good enough for a HD just yet but it lets you know exactly where you’re at and then when the lecturer gives you specific comments with the track changes or at the bottom of the rubric and then they highlight the rubric where you did, that’s really handy."

" … the sooner the feedback is received the more that I care about what’s like being said, like if it’s soon I’m like ‘ok sweet I need to’ like because say I do a presentation and you get marked on anything, I want to know what mark I got and you take the feedback on a bit more I think, whereas if like you’re getting feedback at the end of the semester you’re like ‘oh well…’."


"Its less relevant to you … I guess."

"You’re like ‘well the subject’s pretty much over anyway so…"

"You don’t really care."

"You can’t reflect then improve."

"Yeah, I just look at the, I’m more likely to just look at the grade and then just move on."



"I have found the current feedback system at Avondale very good. Gives plenty of information as to how your assessment was and areas that were done well as well as areas that need improvement. I have studied at 2 other universities and one of the gave almost no feedback at all. This gives no indication of how to improve your learning."

"I love having a rubric. This is the most effective way to help prepare for the task. I like the current system and find it way more effective than when I previously did a Bachelors degree. Back then we weren’t supplied with a rubric only a description of the task and the measurement scale from Fail to High Distinction to aspire to."

"Fairly effective but it varies a lot between lecturers."

1st years 3rd years Postgraduate
Trial an alternative feedback system ^

"I wouldn’t like it very much because I feel like there’s no explanation to why that’s my mark, like, ‘why would I get that mark with no comments?’ thing."

"And there’s the suspense, waiting for that comment."

"And if you go the comments first then the mark wasn’t as high you’d ask yourself like ‘why did you give us such good comments?"

"If it didn’t match up … with the marks then you’d be like ‘what’s going on?’
S: Like if you got comments first and then like ‘oh sweet’ like from that you feel like you did well, but then you get you mark later and you’re like ‘what 5/10 – whereas that come from?’ like I think its… yeah."

"And I think it makes it a lot more disjointed too and especially when we’re doing more than one unit you’re getting little bits of assessment feedback here and there and it’s a bit more … difficult to keep track of as well. So are these comments with this or yeah."

"I think I’d find it irrelevant, like for example, just as you were introducing this study to my friend, I said ‘I have received feedback from an assignment, two weeks ago, was given a rubric with the mark, but not any specific comments with it and I now have to do a second assignment based from my weak areas in that first assignment and I’ve really got no idea if I got that question right or I got it wrong, or if my teaching technique was right or wrong."

"You need both at the same time because it’s hard to keep up and make it relevant."

"If I had to do that, I’d rush through the first one, just to get to the mark. Like I wouldn’t look at the comments, and then I’d go back."

"If I get like a bad mark, or reasonably bad um, and then I read the comments and there’s some positive comments it makes me feel a bit better about my mark rather then …"

"I’d rather see the mark first."

"I would like click the comments, skip, go straight to the mark and then read the comments after."

"I'm not sure how receiving results at different times would improve the process, but I am willing to look at other options."

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