More on feedback

Picking up on Silvester’s comment on my previous post…I think it is really important that we stop and think before saying that a student answer to an e-assessment question is wrong because some detail of it is wrong. As with any type of assessment, it is important to think about what you want to assess.

Arguably it is even more important to give the student feedback on what is wrong. Not doing this can lead to student frustration and to deepening their misunderstandings rather than helping them to improve. As with the question about sandstone in an earlier post, I have been guilty in the past of unintentionally misleading students with OpenMark’s standard ‘Your answer is incorrect’ feedback after a first unsuccessful attempt. For the question in the ‘More about units’ post, we give targeted feedback at each attempt, though it is quite brief after a first incorrect response – see below. In some situations we would explicitly say whether the answer is numerically correct or not, as well as giving feedback for incorrect units, sig figs etc. Perhaps I should have done that here?  In later prompts we usually give a more detailed prompt and reference to our teaching materials.

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