Assessment and feedback
The Outcome
After two modules had been assessed in this fashion, in both the Second and Third year cohorts, a questionnaire was distributed to the students to ascertain their responses to this new approach.

The response rate to the questionnaire was good, with 29 returns out of 50 distributed to Second Year students (58%) and 17 returns out of 24 distributed to Third Years (71%), giving a total of 46 returns out of 74 (62%).

Almost all issues raised in the questionnaire were posed as a closed statement with a scale of response in 5 steps from ‘agree strongly’ through ‘neutral’ to ‘disagree strongly’ as possible answers. You can see responses to key questions in graphic form in the gallery to the right and see the full collated results for each year group by clicking on these links:

Second Year questionnaire collated results

Third Year questionnaire collated results

From these results it can be seen that there was an overwhelmingly positive response to the introduction of both the new assessment structure and the marking grids.

Key responses
Responses from the Second and Third Year cohorts were broadly similar but did vary on some specific points. The Third Year group were sometimes a little more resistant to new practices, as they had had longer to experience the existing procedures during their time on the course. Some key issues emerged as follows:
  • The holistic assessment of work at the end of each module was seen as a positive feature.
  • The opportunity to improve work for assessment by implementing the suggestions made during feedback sessions was appreciated.
  • Despite finding group tutorials useful, given a choice students still overwhelmingly prefer individual tutorials.
  • The new marking grids were seen to be helpful in interpreting assessment criteria and aiding understanding of individual strengths and weaknesses. However, students still find it hard to rely solely on comments about their work, preferring grades which they feel give them a more explicit guide to their performance.
  • Ideally, students would like feedback to be given in both verbal and written form, interpreting the former as being more personal to each individual.

link to responses to 'change in assessment' stats

link to responses to 'change in feedback' stats
Select either image to see the relevant diagrams in more detail