One of the aspects about feedback which is being discussed quite widely at the moment is making the most of all the opportunities we've had. For example, when the students have sat written exams...
What's the view of the history department on feedback on exams?
Yes, this is something we've tried to respond to quite positively, it's been a long process because obviously the practicalities of exams are that we are very often are marking hundreds of them in a very short period of time, so, and its very easy for things to go missing if you put a sheet into an exam it can get separated and so on.
So we've now got a system of sheets where we fill in a form and it's got carbon copies behind it, so when separated out they can't go missing, so that we now give those sheets - an individual copy of those sheets - back to students after the exam is sat. So all of our students get feedback on their exams now.
It involves a kind of check box system of 1 to 5 on individual things, so "Does it include sufficient historiography? 1 to 5." But also some written feedback as well underneath each particular question and the feedback from students on this has been overwhelmingly positive. Students have campaigned for this for a long time and I know it's something that the University has discussed for a long time as well.
So we've had very, very positive feedback from students who feel that it's an important part of their course that they weren't getting feedback on at all. Obviously exam technique and essay technique are very different things, and we've particularly had student feedback saying that it's changed the way they have approached exams, it's changed the way they revise, it's changed the way they write in exams and it's meant that they have got a clear idea of what we're looking for.
In terms of dyslexic students it's meant that we've been in a position to give individual feedback to students again on an individual basis that means students can apply their particular learning methods and their particular skills to exams in a very tailored way.
It's meant that students who've got very particular needs can get feedback on how those particular needs are being met, and also students who've got very particular learning strategies can get feedback on how those particular learning strategies are actually working.
Produced: June 2007, in collaboration with the University's Promoting Enhanced Student Learning (PESL) initiative.