Improving Essay Writing Skills - Comparing the Effects of Written and Verbal Feedback in Animal Biology Undergraduates

Le Vin, A. (2018) Improving Essay Writing Skills - Comparing the Effects of Written and Verbal Feedback in Animal Biology Undergraduates. HEA STEM Conference 2018: Creativity in Teaching, Learning and Student Engagement, Newcastle, UK, 31 Jan - 1 Feb 2018.

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Feedback is essential for student progression and learning (Price et al., 2010) as it allows students to reflect on previous work and consider how to make future improvements (Fry et al., 2003). Without feedback students may struggle to improve upon their mistakes and may continue to make errors affecting their grades. Studies have found that written feedback can provide significant improvement to students learning (Bitchener and Knoch, 2009) as students can refer back to the feedback and take time to digest it. However, students sometime struggle to understand the written feedback (Orsmond & Merry 2010). Verbal feedback although less well studied, has been found to increase student confidence in their coursework (Attali, 2011). Therefore, if staff can engage in dialogue with the students about their written feedback they can gain insight in to how effective they are at communicating their feedback. Verbal feedback may also help build stronger staff-student partnerships which should open the door for future communications. Here students were given a lecture on effective essay writing, then given time to write an essay from a list of titles. Markers gave written feedback and an initial grade to the student. Students then had time to reflect on the feedback before meeting with the marker to further discuss how they could improve their essay. Students then had a further two weeks to resubmit their essay for a second grading. Data was gathered via a questionnaire on the students perceptions of the effectiveness of the two types of feedback and grades for first and final drafts compared. This talk will aim to address if both types of feedback are deemed helpful by students, if the feedback given was easy to understand, if students felt more comfortable approaching staff in the future for further communication and finally if grades improved over the exercise.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Le Vin, Dr Ashley
Authors: Le Vin, A.
Subjects:L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QL Zoology
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
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