Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Resources from the Sharing of Good Practice event 15th January 2014.


The day started with introductions from Professor Fiona Cownie Pro Vice Chancellor for Education and the student experience and a lively keynote talk from Professor Sally Brown.  The talk challenged us to think about amongst other aspects of assessment, assessment design, the purpose of assessment, assessment criteria, the impact of assessment on students and assessment for learning.  Sally has shared her presentation on her website we have also produced a short video of the main points from her keynote below

All video recordings were produced in High Definition, to alter the settings when they begin to play select the cog from the bottom right of the player and select 720p this will give you a better quality picture


Following a short break we began a series of short 15 minute presentations details and slides are below where available.  Short videos of the presentations are also present where are available.  Please do keep checking back to the blog post as more of these videos will be released when available.

All video recordings were produced in High Definition, to alter the settings when they begin to play select the cog from the bottom right of the player and select 720p this will give you a better quality picture

The passages below are extracts from the Sharing Good Practice event programme located at this link 

Getting Wise with PeerWise, Dr Katherine Haxton and Dr Dave McGarvey,

PeerWise is a free online tool designed to support students in creating and answering multiple choice questions. Based on the basic notion that 'if you teach it, you understand it', it allows students to write multiple choice questions with feedback on the correct and incorrect answer. It also provides a means for students to discuss the correct answer and the users frequently correct any errors that have arisen in the questions. PeerWise allows the creation of a large question bank through the contribution of the class that is searchable by topic and level of difficulty. It also provides a means of assessing effort through various metrics. PeerWise is a web-based interface that is intuitive to use and is available at: http://peerwise.cs.auckland.ac.nz .

In this presentation we will outline the use of PeerWise in 1st Year Chemistry classes as a formative means of supporting student learning and revision for module assessments. We will provide a brief description of how to use PeerWise, particularly how to introduce it to a class, and discuss the metrics generated should it be required for summative assessment.

School of Medicine, preparing students better: Giving rich, timely and personalised feedback after assessment, Adrian Molyneux

This session will describe the work we have done to improve the provision of feedback following formative and especially summative assessment in the School of Medicine, and the associated evolution of our assessment procedures. In particular, it will look at: (1) Why we believe students should receive feedback after summative assessments; (2) Our evidence showing how students receive and make use of feedback after summative assessments; and (3) How everything works on a practical level.

It will demonstrate the innovative developments we have put in place with the aim of enriching and personalising the feedback available whilst greatly decreasing the time taken to deliver this to students, including the ways we have incorporated verbal, written and score-based feedback into a single convenient web-accessible resource for multiple examination types. It will also look both at students’ views on the feedback provision and the patterns of usage for different attainment groups, and staff perception of the new assessment processes.

Concluding with a brief discussion on the next steps we plan to take, it will look at how we are working to further improve and embed our new assessment and feedback processes into the different areas of the course.

Enhancing first year students' engagement with feedback: Exploring the use of the Essay Feedback Checklist (EFC), Dr Hala Mansour

The research sought to help students to be more engaged in feedback by using the Essay Feedback Checklist (EFC) as an interactive two-way communication tool between tutors and students. The EFC may perhaps help students to be aware of the assessment criteria used in marking their essays and it potentially can help them to self-evaluate their effort in each criterion by ranking the level of confidence they feel when doing the work. The research also aimed to help tutors to establish an environment that encourages students to engage in their feedback and to think about their teaching style based on this.

The findings indicate that first year students are looking for timely, personal, accurate, developmental and constructive feedback. Students in the study found the use of the EFC useful in providing a detailed feedback and they appreciated following up their feedback with tutors after receiving it. They also suggested that the EFC satisfies some of their interests in receiving effective feedback which may possibly help them to develop their work further. Students claimed that the EFC created an interactive environment in providing feedback and it helped them to open a dialogue about the feedback with tutors.

A link to the presentation Dr Hala Mansour can be found here

Perils of Praise Dr Yvonne Skipper

According to Dweck, praise can be delivered using person (‘you are good at psychology') or process terms (‘you worked hard on this').

The aim of the present research was to examine the effects of person and process praise compared to a control group who received no praise. Participants were 114 students who read scenarios where they succeeded and received either; person, process or no praise. Participants then read two scenarios where they failed. Following each scenario participants evaluated their performance, affect, and persistence.

Following success, participants who received person, process or even no praise showed equally positive outcomes.

However, after one failure, participants who received person praise reacted most negatively. Person praise attributes outcomes to inherent abilities which cannot be easily changed. Therefore if you do not possess the ability to succeed now; you are unlikely to succeed in the future. However, process praise attributes outcomes to effort levels, which can be easily changed. Thus even if you have failed in the current task, greater effort in future could lead to success.

This suggests the importance of using feedback to encourage students to focus on their effort levels and techniques over their abilities

Using Online tests for feedback, Dr Jim O’Neill

Using the Test Function on Blackboard to Improve Assessment and reduce turn-around time.
With paper –based class tests in two accounting modules , I was faced with the daunting prospect of setting, organising, invigilating, marking and giving feedback to over 300 students in Semesters 1 and 2.I decided to use the test function on Blackboard to overcome these seemingly impossible tasks.
I used a combination of multiple–choice, true/false and calculation questions, uploaded them on the Test area of Blackboard and carried out the tests.
All students performed the test over the two semesters, level three in the first semester and level two in the second semester. There were a number of teething problems but overall the process was successful.
Student attainment improved and there was no difference in attainment regarding gender, home or overseas students. Students were overwhelming in favour of the method in particularly enjoying the instant communication of their result. Additionally they liked receiving feedback on their answers once all students had completed the test.
From my point of view, it has been an extremely enjoyable process. Devising the questions and using the Blackboard in new areas for me had developed me as a teacher. It has also stimulated an interest for me in the reasons why some students do better in computer based rather than paper based tests. At the moment I am investigating student learning styles and their connection with attainment in tests.
Now I want to spread the word to colleagues! A link to the presentation can be found here

Food for Thought - Engaging Students with Their Feedback, Dr Sheila Hope

We are striving to improve our feedback provision, but feedback can only be effective if students actually engage with the process, reflect upon the advice they have been given and act upon it. This session will introduce the Food For Thought project currently being piloted in the School of Life Sciences, which aims to promote student engagement with feedback. A Pebble Pad template has been produced and students have been asked to complete the template whenever they receive feedback on their work. The template gives the students the opportunity to reflect upon and respond to their feedback. At the end of the year, students will be asked to complete a second template, giving a final reflection on all the feedback they have received and any changes that they have made based on the feedback.

If successful, it is hoped that the template could be incorporated as one of the ILM activities

World Cafe

Following lunch we began a more interactive session led by Sally Brown.  We sat around tables in groups of 5-6, each table had on it a statement for discussion, we were asked to discuss the statements and write of any interesting comments or questions on the tablecloth after 10-15mins we were asked to move tables to the next statement and repeat the process.  This built up a rich picture of our collective thoughts and questions.  The facilitators for each table were then asked and the end of the rotations to share the main points from their tables conversations.  The points and the questions and comments raised can be seen in the videos below.

All video recordings were produced in High Definition, to alter the settings when they begin to play select the cog from the bottom right of the player and select 720p this will give you a better quality picture

Don't forget you have the pause button, feel free to pause and read, rewind fast forward as you need to

This table discussed the following, exams vs coursework or something else? What opportunities present themselves to rethink assessment?

This table discussed, formative vs summative, how do you strike a balance and make it worthwhile?

This table discussed approaches to engaging staff and students in conversations around assessment criteria

This table discussed electronic feedback, whats working for you, tips and tricks

This table discussed, sharing ideas and approaches to peer and self assessment, concerns and solutions to challenges

Key messages from delegates shared

Following the world cafe event delegates were asked to reflect for 30 seconds on what they had been discussing during the day and share it with everyone, these were captured in the video below.

All video recordings were produced in High Definition, to alter the settings when they begin to play select the cog from the bottom right of the player and select 720p this will give you a better quality picture

Diamond nines evaluation and close

The event drew to a close with a Diamond nine activity led by Dr Hala Mansour.  This activity looked at a range of statements focusing on assessment and related to the topics discussed in the World Cafe activity, staff were then asked to rank these statements.  The results can be seen in the images to the left.  If you want to replicate this activity or repurpose it Dr Hala Mansour has made the original files available for you to download.  This link takes you to an outline of the activity and statements, this link takes you a document detailing each of the statements so you can replicate the activity if you wish

Video soapbox

During the day delegates had the opportunity to share their own practice, ask questions or share thoughts about the day via a video soapbox.

All video recordings were produced in High Definition, to alter the settings when they begin to play select the cog from the bottom right of the player and select 720p this will give you a better quality picture


Throughout the day twitter was used to share and capture delegates views and links to other resources shared.  Tweets from the day drawn together using Storify.  Storify is a useful tool for drawing together different tweets about an event and adding a narrative around them.  This link takes you to the Sharing of Good practice Storify

A take away message for delegates and readers of the blog, share this resource and what you learned from the day with one colleague who couldn't attend.