In the hands of our students

I’ve just attended a very interesting JISC webinair in which David Nicol spoke on the subject ‘Assessment and feedback : in the hands of the student’. He was focusing on the cognitive processes surrounding the receiving and giving of feedback, and made the point that feedback effectiveness relies as much on what goes on in the student’s mind as on what we (teachers) do.

David spoke a bit about things we can do to make teacher-generated feedback more useful but then he went on to talk about the role of self review (which is not the same as self assessment). I was particularly taken with his reference to Chi’s studies of self-explaining, in which she asked learners to explain their understanding. The other point that particularly interested me was that David was talking here about self review taking the lead rather than following teacher-generated feedback.

David went on to talk about peer review (again, not peer assessment), making the point that peer review has benefits in providing feedback that is more akin to that received in real life (where feedback does not come from a single source and where people are producers of feedback as well as being consumers of feedback). Interestingly (and not surprisingly), students report find giving feedback more useful than receiving it. This was the subject of my earlier post ‘Peer assessment : is it better to give or to receive?

I may have thought about that aspect before, but in general I feel I still have a huge amount to learn. Thank you David for making me think (and what is a blog if not self-review…).

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