The purpose of feedback at university
Feedback is an essential part of your learning at university and should help you to understand the areas in which you are doing well and what you can do to improve and progress.
- Helps you to assess your own learning and reflect on your development
- Allows you to discuss your learning with your tutors
- Helps you to understand what is expected of you and what good performance is
- Gives you the opportunity to progress
- Provides you with information about your learning
- Motivates you and encourages you to think positively about your learning
- Provides information to teachers that can be used to help shape their teaching
Chloe and Donna
Donna: Usually we'll get our essays back, a marked copy, so we can read through what the lecturer has written and how they've gone through it and we'll also get feedback online so you can look at both of them. It's up to you what option you look at.
Chloe: The feedback online, I'm not sure if they do it before the end of the year. I know definitely at the end of the year they'll put a graph up from your courses and the graph will show you the average grade, the highest grade, the lowest grade and your grade and only you can access it. No one else can see your grade but it means you can chart your progress and work out if you're at the standard you want to be at.
Donna: You can see what subjects can be pulling you down as well, so you can tell exactly what you need to improve on.
Second-year Electrical and electronic engineering
You get feedback every week because during the lecture sessions they give you a worksheet and you have to take it home and do it on your own. And if you need help, you go to the workshop and ask the PhD student - they will help you out. Apart from that, you can just go up to your lecturers and just talk to them about what you don't really understand and what you're doing wrong.
Adapted from Nicol, D. J. & Macfarlane-Dick, D. (2006) 'Formative assessment and selfregulated learning: a model and seven principles of good feedback practice' Studies in Higher Education, 31(2), pp. 199-218.