Using Personalised Analytics to Improve Your Assessment Feedback

McAleer, P. , Cleland Woods, H. and Paterson, H. (2020) Using Personalised Analytics to Improve Your Assessment Feedback. 13th Annual University of Glasgow Learning and Teaching Conference, 25 Aug 2020.

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A complex interconnection of themes have been identified as shaping student perceptions of feedback. One theme is the perception of consistency within and between markers, and assessments. This inconsistency manifests in the words used, with diversity causing confusion as to how grade and feedback are linked, as well as in quantity, often with A-grade students receiving brief, vague statements whilst lower grade students receiving extensive detailed comments to the point of being perceived as “nit-picking”. Either way, inconsistencies, coupled with a lack of assessment literacy in both marker and student, are reportedly behind feedback being rated lowest on the NSS in terms of student experience. In this workshop, we first report on the School of Psychology’s efforts to address these issues through developing three consistent learning objectives across all written assessments; building around these objectives is at the heart of our long-term efforts to develop feedback literacy in our students. Secondly, we will show how personal analytics of our feedback helps us to reflect on and address consistency across and within our feedback. For example, along with more standard qualitative approaches, we visualise grading profiles across the marking team and we engage in content analysis of our feedback comments to reduce disparity in the quantity of feedback at different grade levels. In addition, we identify key terms in the feedback, relating to the University’s 22-point marking scale verbal descriptors, and check that we are using them and that their use aligns with grades given. This is achieved through open source tools developed with in R (, that we will show and invite attendees to use in order to evaluate their own feedback. Ultimately, though content is key, these small steps in improving clarity and consistency will raise both staff and student satisfaction with the feedback process.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cleland Woods, Heather and McAleer, Dr Phil and Paterson, Dr Helena
Authors: McAleer, P., Cleland Woods, H., and Paterson, H.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
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