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CIPPET Study Support: 8. Understanding feedback

This guide will help you find resources, understand academic and reflective writing and help you prepare for your coursework and exams


Laptop and notebook on a deskThroughout your studies with CIPPET you will receive feedback on your progress, including your coursework.  Feedback might be any of the following:

  1. Comments in workshops
  2. Comments in group discussions
  3. Peer feedback and assessment (either another student or someone you work with)
  4. Verbal comments on your work or progress
  5. Verbal comments in mock assessments during a workshop
  6. Verbal or written feedback from the programme team on common areas where students lost marks
  7. Written feedback through mock tests through Blackboard
  8. Written comments through Turnitin on your submitted draft or final coursework

Feedback forms a key part of your learning, so you understand the areas where you are doing well and where you can improve.  CIPPET will always focus on development feed-forward approaches, these are forms of feedback that will help you to develop your work to always strive to improve as a healthcare professional.

Common comments on feedback

Whilst there will be specific comments on the pieces of work you upload, some of the common themes that are useful feedback for everyone to consider when putting together their portfolios include the below.  Please note that the programme team will expect students to read this information so may not make comments on every point they identify in your work - it is for you to reflect on your work against the following.

  • We will not highlight every spelling or grammatical error, it is essential that you proofread your work carefully before the final submission.
  • Whilst we will endeavour to make sure there are no examples of patient harm in your draft work that require amendment, e.g. incorrect doses, we are not able to provide a guarantee of this as the purpose of the feedback is around the learning outcomes and academic writing.  The draft feedback may not be done by a practitioner familiar with your area of practice so it is essential you double-check all work prior to submission.
  • When reviewing topics discussed some are not that relevant to the programme and students must discuss moving forward in their role (e.g. non-medical prescribing, foundation to advanced practice, advanced history taking, research skills).  If your module relates to taking on a new role you must make sure you write about topics explicitly linked to your new role.
  • Ensure you reference your work clearly - information can be found under the citing references from the menu above.
  • When writing academic work make sure you avoid using contractions (e.g. can't rather than cannot), symbols (e.g. & rather than and) and check whether you should use the verb or the noun (e.g. practice versus practise); for more information on academic writing see the sections from the menu above.
  • Only proper nouns need to be capitalised (e.g. generic drug names are lower case, branded drug names are capitalised as per their specific name found in the BNF / SPC)
  • Remember to use the definite article where appropriate (e.g. rather than 'patient came to the clinic' the sentence should read 'the patient came to the clinic') (e.g. rather than 'by completing case study' the sentence should read 'by completing this case study').
  • Ensure you know the difference between there and their and they're; practice and practise; license and licence etc.
  • If you are using their rather than he or she check the sentence is clear and does not imply their refers to someone else (e.g. rather than 'Mrs Smith said their symptoms were worse at night' the sentence is clearer as 'Mrs Smith said her symptoms were worse at night').
  • If you use abbreviations state them in full the first time with the abbreviation in brackets
  • Do not assume that the reader will understand technical details, you should write your coursework such that an advanced generalist (i.e. an advanced practitioner who does not work in your area of practice) could understand it; this shows that you understand what you are doing and can communicate it to different groups of people
  • It is not essential that appendices to a piece of written work are looked at by the reader; if you think something is relevant then it should be included in the main piece of work (this is separate to the appendices to your portfolio as a whole)
    • If there is supplementary evidence e.g. something from your time in practice that demonstrates competence then you can anonymise it and include as an appendix to your paper portfolio submission.
  • When including figures they can distract from the information you have written, for example, we know what the reflective cycles are.  If a figure or table adds significant value and you want to include it then you should include a caption (which is referenced where appropriate) which is referred to in the text. 
  • Avoid writing short one or two sentence paragraphs as the flow is difficult to follow, group your ideas into larger paragraphs and discuss themes together
  • Whilst not mandatory, some students like to state the competencies they are mapping their coursework to at the end of their work to help them track of which ones they have gaps in your evidence for - unless asked for in the template or instructions this is optional.

Using feedback

The programme team will provide two main types of written feedback:

  • Feedback on written draft work (formative assessments)
  • Grading and feedback on written final work (summative assessments)

Formative assessments

This is work submitted which does not contribute to your module mark.  You can use this opportunity to identify where you can improve your work and reflect on how much more work you need to undertake to complete the coursework (or prepare for a final professional exam).  This usually happens throughout a module.  You can use this feedback to improve your potential module mark so is particularly powerful- the programme team will expect you to have reflected on the suggestions for your final submission.

Summative assessments

This work is submitted as a final deadline and usually counts towards your overall module mark.  This usually happens at the end of a module or set piece of work.  You can use this feedback to improve your next pieces of work - the programme team will expect you to act on feedback from one piece of work to the next.

Interpreting feedback

Feedback on your submission will always be a critique of your work, identifying the positive and negative aspects of your writing.  You should be prepared for this, the programme team want to ensure you have the best opportunity to develop and progress.  We recommend students read the feedback and where necessary reflect on it after a break to allow time to understand it and re-read the work with fresh eyes and reflection from a different perspective.  The short video below may help you to approach reading your feedback.

regularly to allow the key points to have 

Making the most of feedback

If you are unable to view this video on YouTube it is also available on YuJa - view the Making the most of your feedback video on YuJa (University username and password required)

Getting the most from verbal feedback

The following tips aim to help you get the most from verbal feedback:

  • Always listen for tips, information and outcomes of discussion from workshops - the programme team will always be trying to support you to get a good mark for your studies so this informal verbal feedback can be invaluable
  • Active participation in workshops and interacting with your peers at the University and in the workplace will provide you with rich information to use as feedback on your knowledge and skills, along with challenging your assumptions and widening your viewpoints
  • Make sure you read the module handbooks and module/programme materials thoroughly, this means when you are in workshops you will see how the information links to the module aims and assessments, as well as maximising the time you can ask questions of the programme team (rather than procedural questions)
  • If you find you cannot remember all the key points then take notes as you go along, the programme team will always allow you time to write information down so you can refer to it at a later point
  • Do not forget to reflect on what you have learnt, the notes you have made and the discussions you have had, how can you integrate that material into your learning and future practice?

Getting the most from written feedback

The following tips aim to help you get the most from written feedback:

  • Always aim to submit your work for draft feedback, this will help you understand what the assessors are looking for and how you can focus your study time to work on your submission
  • Read and reflect on comments from submitted work at the point you will be using them, usually this is promptly after they are released on  Turnitin
  • Use your mark, the freetext comments and the rubric grading to help you interpret how you performed, for feedback on your draft the rubric will guide you to improve your final submission but will not be a grade of your work

How to interpret your assignment brief

The below video will help you understand the wording used by the programme team and in the rubrics.  It is designed for interpreting undergraduate assignment briefs but the principles apply equally across undergraduate and taught postgraduate programmes.

If you are unable to view this video on YouTube it is also available on YuJa - view the How to interpret my assessment brief video on YuJa (University username and password required)