Thursday, 2 April 2009

A few thoughts from Prof. Brenda Smith. HEA Assessment and Feedback Event

Brenda, as always, presents a really coherent argument and draws on a wealth of experience and expertise. Brenda’s position allows her to talk with numerous institutions which subsequently feed back into her knowledge. She uses these examples really well to allow her to provide some concrete examples of practice in the sector.

A few things I wrote down from her presentation …

* Engage students in the planning and curriculum planning – students can be great change agents.
* Assessments ‘can’ be set at week 3
* Get the Heads of Academic Schools at Teaching and Learning sessions – get T&L valued.
* Policies of professorship for T&L not valued or limited take up?
* A student friendly academic School gives a higher student feedback return
* The University of Lincoln, provides a booklet relating to students’ feedback. The booklet includes ‘this is what you asked for, this is what you said, and this is what we did. Helen and I are trying to get a You Said – We Did campaign up and running at UH. This resonated with us.
* Staff taking students to lunch and other simple schemes that attempt to engage students with staff. This again reminds me of Chickering and Gamson’s first principle ‘ Good practice im undergraduate education encourages staff student contact.
* Too much feedback might not be helpful
* Don’t just respond to students’ needs – Brenda gave the example of groups work and students not wanting it– Don’t forget to tell them why you are using it and what the purposes are. It’s not a secret!
* Stratchlyde – podcast lectures and use lecture time more productively – this frees up time for better feedback – This reminds me of what we do with the Blended Learning - use the technology o enhance and extend the traditional teaching sessions.
* Use of voice – audio supported feedback
* What do students do with feedback?
* Useful ways of presenting feedback – quickly!

Lots and lots more really useful ideas - I'm sure I've only touched the surface and dine an injustice to Brenda's session.

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