Reconceptualising Feedback in Higher Education
Developing dialogue with students
Edited by Stephen Merry, Margaret Price, David Carless, Maddalena Taras
Routledge – 2013 – 218 pages
Feedback is a crucial element of teaching, learning and assessment. There is, however, substantial evidence that staff and students are dissatisfied with it, and there is growing impetus for change.
Student Surveys have indicated that feedback is one of the most problematic aspects of the student experience, and so particularly in need of further scrutiny. Current practices waste both student learning potential and staff resources. Up until now the ways of addressing these problems has been through relatively minor interventions based on the established model of feedback providing information, but the change that is required is more fundamental and far reaching.
Reconceptualising Feedback in Higher Education, coming from a think-tank composed of specialist expertise in assessment feedback, is a direct and more fundamental response to the impetus for change. Its purpose is to challenge established beliefs and practices through critical evaluation of evidence and discussion of the renewal of current feedback practices. In promoting a new conceptualisation and a repositioning of assessment feedback within an enhanced and more coherent paradigm of student learning, this book:
• analyses the current issues in feedback practice and their implications for student learning.
• identifies the key characteristics of effective feedback practices
• explores the changes needed to feedback practice and how they can be brought about
• illustrates through examples how processes to promote and sustain effective feedback practices can be embedded in modern mass higher education.
Provoking academics to think afresh about the way they conceptualise and utilise feedback, this book will help those with responsibility for strategic development of assessment at an institutional level, educational developers, course management teams, researchers, tutors and student representatives.
"By emphasizing feedback as modelling classroom behaviour, practising reflective thinking and acknowledging the moral-ethical part of "humane teaching and assessment! (Merry et al. 2013, Foreword), the responsibility that it takes to provide feedback to learners and/or peers and the ability to judge quality (Sadler 2013), readers are given useful and specific guidelines for the teaching profession itself – outside the academia." – Szilvia Barta, University of Debrecen, The Hungarian Educational Research Journal.
Notes on Contributors
Foreword (Marcia Mentkowski)
Overview (Stephen Merry)
SECTION 1: CURRENT THINKING
A. The Student Voice
Alex Bols and Kate Wicklow
B. The Wider Picture: challenges to preconceptions
Margaret Price, Karen Handley, Berry O’Donovan, Chris Rust and Jill Millar
C. Principles and Practices
D. Royce Sadler
SECTION 2: ENHANCING THE STUDENT ROLE IN THE FEEDBACK PROCESS
Jan McArthur and Mark Huxham
Paul Orsmond, Stephen Merry and Karen Handley
SECTION 3: FOSTERING INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE
Chris Rust, Margaret Price, Karen Handley, Berry O’Donovan and Jill Millar
Graham Holden and Chris Glover
Mark Russell, Dominic Bygate and Helen Barefoot
Steve Draper and David Nicol
Conclusion and Reflections (Stephen Merry, Margaret Price, David Carless and Maddalena Taras)
Stephen Merry is Senior Lecturer in Cell Biology in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Sciences at Staffordshire University.
Margaret Price is Professor in Learning and Assessment at Oxford Brookes University.
David Carless is Professor of Educational Assessment at the University of Hong Kong.
Maddalena Taras is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Society at the University of Sunderland.