ASS#1 Steps 2-6: Marking Feedback

Hi Bridget, Karen, John, Kathy P, Kathy J, Carmen, Renee and Maria

Thanks for marking ASS#1 Steps 2-6 with me. It has been a great team effort.

I appreciate the energy and commitment each of you have made. For some of us, this was a difficult period due to Cyclone Debbie and its aftermath.

Feedback is a key intervention we can make to support student learning.

In our unit, we give students a range of feedback, including General feedback, Exemplars and Individual feedback (a mark with written comments). We also support students to give each other feedback on their draft work, in various ways.

We are seeking to develop a rich environment of on-going feedback for our students, to support their learning. Each of you has an important part in contributing to this. The individual mark and written feedback we give students is an important part of this feedback; and the feedback students receive in the unit is quite critical to their learning.

However, only feedback with certain qualities is effective.

One of these qualities is timeliness. There are other important qualities feedback needs to have (for example, feedback needs to be clear and able to be used or applied, especially in future learning tasks). However, in terms of timeliness, for feedback to be effective, people must get their feedback within a few hours or a day or two of completing the learning task.

If we give feedback 1-2 weeks after they complete the learning task, typically students will have ‘moved on with their lives’ and generally either not look at the feedback at all or simply look at it for evidence that the marker has actually read their assignment. So feedback given 1-2 weeks (or later) after they complete a learning task is generally ineffective.

Indeed, in the feedback academic literature (within the Education literature), since about 2011 there has been a strong trend supporting the idea that much of the feedback provided in the tertiary sector is of little value to student learning and can represent a significant waste of resources; and one of the difficulties with feedback can be lack of timeliness.

For this reason, for example, we give students their General Feedback and Exemplars within a day of the due date.

Our feedback should also be personal, using the student’s name and our name in the feedback; and always be respectful and supportive of our students’ learning.

There are real skills in giving effective feedback; and it is a lifelong learning process to develop our capacities to provide effective feedback to our students. As we continue to develop the marking team in our unit (and for ACCT11081 Financial Accounting), there will be opportunities for professional development and training to support us to develop our capacities in effectively giving feedback.

This is how we went in terms of timeliness of our marking and individual feedback for our students:

 Deadline Target

%

Actual

%

Day 0 (11am Mon) 10 9
Day 1 (11am Tues) 35 40
Day 2 (11am Wed) 65 65
Day 3 (11am Thurs) 90 81
Day 4 (11am Fri) 100 90
Day 5 (11am Sat) 100 96
Day 6 (11am Sun) 100 97

This was a great effort in largely reaching our timeliness targets.

One of the issues we face is ‘dealing with the tail’. It can be quite difficult finishing off marking the last few students (particularly when the tail keeps growing with late submissions). Overall, it is only a small percentage of the total student numbers. However, for those individual students involved, it can and does affect their learning experience if we take a while to mark their assignments.

Also, of course, some of the ‘tail’ is made up of students submitting late; and we have quite a few of these this time due to Cyclone Debbie. Students are still submitting their assignments (and thus adding to the ‘tail’), and Maria and I will mark these late submitters as they submit.

Thank you again for all your efforts for ASS#1 Steps 2-6.

We will soon turn to marking ASS#2.

There are 10 steps in ASS#2, to be submitted as follows:

Step 1: to be completed by 11.00am Monday 17 April (Week 6)

Step 2: to be completed by 11.00am Monday 1 May (Week 8)

Steps 3 & 4: to be completed by 11.00am Monday 8 May (Week 9)

Step 5: to be completed by 11.00am Monday 15 May (Week 10)

Step 6: to be completed by 11.00am Monday 22 May (Week 11)

Steps 7-10: to be completed by 11.00am Monday 5 June (Week 13).

We will mark each step as we go; and you will not need to mark all steps for your students.

For example, I will mark Step 1 for all students.

I will be shortly giving you the ASS#2 Marking Guidance; and we can discuss further the approach we will use to marking ASS#2.

Thanks again for your work on marking ASS#1. And I look forward to working with you on marking ASS#2.

Regards

Martin

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