Providing timely and effective feedback to students on assessment items helps students to feel welcome, reassured, and engaged in learning as they progress through their studies.
Staff at CSU have a responsibility to provide relevant feedback on all items of assessment. In providing feedback to students, you need to;
Students expect to receive comments throughout their assignments as well as an overall feedback comment. The challenge for markers is to provide this level of feedback while being time-efficient. Focus your comments on the key elements of the task. You may like to comment on grammar and spelling in the first page of written assessments then after this use a Language and Literacy Template or a comments bank to save you time. A Language and Literacy comments bank is now incorporated in NORFOLK 4.
Make sure you refer to the marking criteria and standards when assessing the students' work. Can you see clear evidence in their work of what is required for a particular grade level? You can also use this as a guide when composing the final feedback comments to students at the end of the assessment.
NORFOLK is a time efficient platform that allows you to mark students' work. Features include comments banks, rubric creation, Audio feedback, and Language, Literacy and Numeracy templates. Go to NORFOLK for video instruction and support. Located at Interact2 Help and Support/Teaching and Professional Staff/Assessment/Norfolk.
The key elements of effective feedback to students are personal engagement with the student, communicating to the student what they did well, what they did not do well and how their work could be improved by being specific and using a feedforward strategy. Focus on being constructive (never sarcastic or humiliating) and always finish with a positive statement and an invitation for more communication. Here is a suggested structure for how you can put together your final comments to students on their assessment.
[Adapted from Henderson, M. & Phillips, M. (2014). Technology enhanced feedback on assessment. Paper presented at the Australian Computers in Education Conference 2014, Adelaide, SA.]
|Component||Rationale||Example text for relevant section|
|Greeting||Sets the scene.||Hi Sandy, well done on submitting your first assessment in this subject.|
|Relational work||Acknowledge students circumstances.||I know this is a busy time for first year students so I commend you on completing this work.|
|Goal statement||Allows you to highlight what particular items feedback will focus on.||The primary goal of my comments will be to give you feedback on the key arguments of your case study|
|Evaluative summary||General evaluative statement highlighting strengths and weakness before going into specifics.||What I noticed straight away was (focus on the key elements that link to the task).|
|Textual work||Describe the patterns with one or two examples.||One thing that would improve this work (focus on what needs improving that relates to the task). For example in your introduction you…..|
|Comment on substance with emphasis on feedforward||Structure comments on how students can improve and extend their thinking.||Think about what this means in a broader context…… (Comment on the substance of the assessment with emphasis on feed forward).|
|Wrap up and invitation for further communication||Again incorporates the personal component and invites a continued conversation with the student on feedback to guide future work.||Congratulations on the work you have done so far. I'm looking forward to what you do next. If you would like to have a meeting to talk more about how to improve the work please don't hesitate to call me.|
Further information on this approach can be found at Learning with New Media, A Faculty of Education research group, Monash University.
A clearly articulated marking rubric can assist you in marking assessments and also supports effective feedback by enabling students to understand where they sit on the continuum of performance measures.
A group of students from across the Science Faculty were invited to provide feedback on their university experience, including courses, subjects and assessment practices. Their answers were insightful and show a highly sophisticated understanding of marking rubrics and CRSBA.
Some of the key themes relating to assessment include:
The fundamental point to consider when using a marking rubric, is that it's a communication tool. Well written criteria and standards, along with a clear assessment task description amounts to good communication.
So check your assessment marking rubric and see if these features are apparent as this will ensure effective and efficient marking of student's assessments. If you can see some areas that need improving or the students are consistently making the same errors, make some notes so improvements can be made in future offerings of the subject.
You can find further information on the Example Rubrics page for some exemplars of effective practice and Assigning grades and marks on the Developing quality assessment in your subject page for guides on how to mark.