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Providing 'feed-forward'

Tips on using 'feed-forward' when setting assignments

Help students to see exactly how assignments are marked Library 4

Alert students to the importance of good structure and style. One of the best ways of doing this is to involve classes of students in looking at examples of past assignments (good, bad and indifferent), and applying your assessment criteria to these. This can be followed by involving students in peer assessment of each others' work. This will be a lot easier to complete for written assignments compared with oral presentations. However, you might be able to record these or ask students to conduct formative oral presentations in order to provide the required 'Feed Forward' pointers to improve future (summative) performances.

Do not leave students to guess the real agenda

Some assignment questions are so open-ended that it is hard for students to work out exactly what the examiner is looking for. The authors of such assignments will defend their questions by saying, 'well, it is important to find the students who know what to do in such circumstances', but the fact remains that it is an aspect of study technique which is being rewarded rather than mastery of the learning involved in answering the question.

Tips adapted from Race (2006)1


1. Race, P. (2006) The Lecturer's Toolkit, London, Routledge. 

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