Feedback advice from UoR students:
Key steps for reflective use of feedback:
In some cases, feedback can be applied directly to a following task or assignment; for example, when a formative task leads to a summative one. In other words, there may be a straightforward link between the feedforward advice and changes in practice one can make to improve their final output.
Opportunities for directly applicable feedback may come:
Grasp the formative and informal opportunities to get others’ perspectives and learn how to evaluate your work. This strategy will also help you improve your evaluation skills.
► Check the menu tabs above for examples of tasks offering direct feedback opportunities. Can you think of any others?
Mock tests or practice tests help you get used to exam room conditions, the type of questions, time pressure, etc. Doing a mock test can be a confidence booster and helps you set your expectations and select your priorities when preparing for the ‘real’ exam!
These are opportunities to hone your communication and presentation skills in front of a benevolent audience. Gaining experience presenting can help with nerves and boost confidence. In addition, there is opportunity receive instant feedback and gauge your content and performance quality from the audience reactions and questions. (Too long? Too little/ much information? Too specialised?) You can then make decisions for changes in your delivery.
Proposal tasks are an opportunity to design a project, plan in detail, and receive feedback before implementation. Considering then this feedback may lead you to revise your plans and make different decisions on certain aspects of your project, or it might help you identify options/paths you were not aware of previously.
Bibliography assignments are designed to break down the process of writing into steps and emphasise the role of reading and note taking; considering what type of literature or other forms of sources you have selected as a starting point for an essay, and explaining how you are going to use them, helps with defining purpose of writing. Feedback on such assignments can steer you towards directions you had missed or improve your skills on selecting, interpreting, and evaluating evidence for you upcoming essay (and more written assessments to come!)
In order to use feedback successfully across modules and build on it year on year, it is key to identify its transferrable elements, i.e., how comments on a specific piece can be applied to different tasks or areas of work.
Here are some tips for translating feedback:
Look at the assessment criteria of different assignments. Is there overlap?
Group types of assessment together – the likelihood is that key skills matter in similar ways for similar types of tasks.
Look for patterns in your feedback: are there any repeated keywords? Making a feedback log may be a useful tool in this process of finding out your strengths and areas for development.
Look at your assessment schedule as a whole. What types of assessment do you have to complete going forward? Is there emphasis on specific types of tasks that you should be building your skills towards?
Think about your sector or discipline and the career you are hoping to follow. Is there a set of expectations for graduates in your area? What do employers look for?
The above questions can guide you towards building a learning plan to address any limitations that were identified in your feedback or enhance areas you consider a particular strength and you wish to excel at!
Feedback is one of the tools you can use to reflect more broadly on your own learning and development, against the goals you set for yourself within the context of your university studies and beyond. So how can you use feedback to achieve these goals?
Look at your feedback holistically...
... to identify patterns that may help you recognise strengths and weaknesses.
Some tools you can use:
Identify sources of support...
Are there any useful suggestions in your feedback that you can implement right away? Or do you need some support to make sense of your feedback and identify an action course? There is plenty of support at hand.
For example, you can use your feedback logs to discuss your learning plan with your Academic Tutor. Together, you can work:
If you have access to a draft submission area to check originality of your work via Turnitin, then you can use this report in two ways: 1. as editing and proofreading assistant, and 2. as a tool to assess writing patterns and approach.
What it will show:
Things Turnitin cannot do:
The report will give you an idea of how you are using sources and evidence in your writing. If you find that long strings of text or sections of your assignments are colour matched to source text, this may mean that you are overrelying on the way other authors express their ideas or communicate information (derivative way of writing). Building good academic practice would then mean finding ways to disengage from source text, e.g. by developing your paraphrasing technique; by reading more widely and synthesising sources; and/or by evaluating the reasons why you use evidence and trying to emphasise your own argument instead.
A consultation with a Study Adviser to review your Turnitin report can help you evaluate and decide on how to take your writing further.