Feedback after semester
|ADMINISTRATION||LEARNING & TEACHING||SUPPORT|
|(Not relevant to this topic)||Effective feedback after semester||Online feedback|
|Methods for giving feedback||Exam review day|
In many situations at the University the final examination, report or essay comprises the largest part of the student’s grade, and therefore good feedback after the semester finishes is still important to the student’s continued progress in their course.
While effective feedback during semester will help the student to improve their performance within your unit of study (UoS), once the assessment has finished the kind of meaningful feedback that students appreciate involves:
- more general feedback on their overall performance in relation to assessment criteria and the class average.
- constructive feedback that will help them to identify general areas, such as graduate attributes and foundation skills, that may need improvement. This shows them what they still need to work on to succeed in their subsequent units of study.
- information about their options. This can be particularly important if they were unsuccessful in their final assessment. If your unit was a pre-requisite or co-requisite to other units they wish to take, or which are compulsory for the completion of their degree, they will need to know their alternative options, such as taking summer school or repeating the unit. On the other hand, if students performed very well in your unit, you will probably want to make sure they know about their options to take additional or advanced units in your subject area, with a view to opening pathways to an honours degree.
Once classes have finished, students may not make the effort to return to the campus to collect final essays or assignments. This can be a frustrating experience for lecturers who have put time into writing personal feedback on hard-copies of assessment tasks.
Many students highly value feedback of this kind on their assessment tasks during semester. However, email or online feedback methods, and exam review days, are some approaches that experienced coordinators find work well after semester.
- You can send an email to all or some of your students using your eLearning site. You are able to create a rule that will send emails to specified groups of students. For example, you could email those who scored above 85 to encourage them to do more units of study in the discipline, or to consider planning for an honours program. For information on how to do this contact eLearning for assistance.
- Adam Bridgeman from Chemistry has created feedback software which sends a personalised email to each student, with structured advice on their options or, just as importantly, congratulations for high achievers. It delivers a report to each student after the final exam, which includes a diagram that shows their performance in relation to their class, as well as information on where they answered wrongly and what a better answer would have been.
- Similarly, in the School of Business, Alex Eapen's software gives detailed analysis of each student’s performance within the group as well as providing useful comments on their performance; all of this arrives in the student's email box, without them having to collect hard-copies of results.
- See our topic Methods for giving feedback in our section on Feedback during semester, for more information on using software for feedback, including more about the software programs mentioned above.
Some Faculties, Schools or lecturers arrange an exam review day for their students after exam results are posted (ie some weeks after the end of semester, or just before the start of the next one if units are closely linked in terms of content and/or skills acquisition).
The UoS coordinator advises students of a day, time and venue, allocating several hours for students to come to ask questions about their exam, review their answers and the marks they received, and get general feedback on how to improve their performance in subsequent units.