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  • Making LearningHappen

    - and getting assessment andfeedback working better!

    Dundalk Institute of Technology

    Dundalk Institute of Technology21st October 2010


    Emeritus Professor

    Leeds Metropolitan University

  • As I explained...

    I did some things both with the smallgroup of senior staff in the morning, andwith the larger group in the afternoon.

    However, I did some different thingswith each group too, and the

    with each group too, and thepresentation here combines most ofthese.

    Therefore, whichever group you were in,there will be things to learn from theslides you havent seen.

  • Name labelsName labels

    Please write your first name, big and bold,on a coded sticky label, and stick it toyour clothing (not onto a fabric whichwould be damaged).


  • Every student comeswith a free


    Im aperson, nota number

  • Getting to know studentsGetting to know students

    Asking students to write their names on labelshelps them to get to know each other, and helpsus to know what they want to be called.

    When they feel theyre known to us asindividuals (in a good way), theyre less likely todrop out especially in big groups in HE.drop out especially in big groups in HE.

    Labels are cheap and environmentally-friendly.

    The codes can be used to get students intodifferent group configurations, or to quiz thewhole class.

  • This slide has three mainThis slide has three mainpurposes.purposes.

    To focus the data projector, whenTo focus the data projector, whennecessary, andnecessary, and

    Annoy all the folk near the back,Annoy all the folk near the back,

    Annoy all the folk near the back,Annoy all the folk near the back,and...and... persuade colleagues never persuade colleagues never toput this sort of detail onto aput this sort of detail onto aslide!slide!

  • About PhilAbout Phil Born a Geordie

    First a musician

    Then a writer

    Then a scientist

    Then a researcher

    Then a lecturer and warden

    Got interested in how students

    And now retired! (1995, 2009)

    Working with students onlearning techniques

    And lecturers on teaching andassessment strategies

    And trainers on training design

    Currently Got interested in how studentslearn

    And the effects assessmentand feedback have on them

    And how we teach them

    Gradually became aneducational developer


    Emeritus Prof: Leeds Met

    Travelling around as usual!

    Based at Newcastle and Leeds

    And on trains

    And still a Geordie.

    And an experton train routes and timetables!

  • Whats an Emeritus Professor?

    Someone really old?

    Someone who has not been sacked for grossmoral turpitude?

    Someone whos still on the books, but not onthe payroll?

    the payroll?

    Or perhaps as in edentate, the e signifieswithout.

  • Thanks to students

    I could not do what I do nowadays if Idid not continue to spend a fair bit of mytime working with students theyvetaught me most of what I know.

  • You will be able to downloadmy main slides

    You dont need to take notes.

    But of course do feel free to make notes ofanything you think of your own thoughts,questions, issues and so on.

    Ill put the main slides I use today up on

    Ill put the main slides I use today up onmy website before the day is out.

    So sometimes Ill go fast.

  • Intended learning outcomesBy the end of today, you should be better-able to

    1. Think afresh about how students really learn;

    2. Identify, and address in your teaching, seven factorswhich underpin successful learning, teaching,feedback and assessment;

    3. Learn from what the gurus tell us about assessment3. Learn from what the gurus tell us about assessmentand feedback;

    4. Make assessment more valid, reliable, transparent,authentic, inclusive and manageable;

    5. Give more students better feedback in less time!

  • Post-it task

    On a post-it, in your best handwriting, jot downyour own completion of...

    Teaching and assessment would be much betterfor me if only I ....

    Please swap all post-its until you dont knowwhose you have.

    whose you have.

    If asked, read out with passion and dramawhats on the post-its you now have.

  • Post-it task

    On a post-it, in your best handwriting,please write your own short completionof:

    assessing students work and givingthem feedback would be much better

    them feedback would be much betterfor me if only I

    Please swap post-its until you dontknow whose you have.

    If asked, read out with passion anddrama whats on the post-it you nowhave.

  • Feedback to students would workmuch better for me if only I

    Thought theyd read and digest it.

    Could give them back their essays to keep.

    Thought it would make a difference.

    Was able to do it more quickly.

    Could be in the right frame of mind when meeting them face toface.

    Could be sure they would understand what Im trying to tellthem.


    Could get them to turn up to receive feedback.

    Had some expectations that they would use it to improve theirnext mark.

    Cared less about the judgements I make, and how to articulatethese in writing.

    Could get more of them to attend workshops, and engage in thelearning activities.

    Knew the students better.

    Could discuss this with my students.

  • Feedback to students would workmuch better for me if only I

    Knew them personally, and their profiles.

    Knew how to phrase it in terms students understand.

    Saw evidence of improvement as a result of that feedback.

    Knew what to say to them.

    Made more time for giving effective feedback.

    Could be clearer about why they got the grade they did.

    Knew they would read the comments and not just look at thegrade.


    Could identify better what the student needs to do to improve thenext piece of work feedforward.

    Could do this as a dialogue.

    Didnt take so long over it.

    Had the chance to discuss it and explain it.

    Had a clue what Im talking about!

  • Using postUsing post--its to find outits to find outstudents real intended learningstudents real intended learning


    21 February 201121 February 2011 1616


  • PostPost--itsits A small, equal opportunities,

    non-threatening space.

    Just about everyone is willing to jot somethingdown on a post-it in answer to a question,whereas they may not offer a spoken answer toa question, or write responses on a blank sheeta question, or write responses on a blank sheetof paper.

    Post-its allow everyone the same opportunity torespond, including the quiet or shy students.

    Post-its can be swapped, and students can readout someone elses ideas, in the relative comfortof anonymity.

  • Finding out where a group isFinding out where a group isstarting fromstarting from

    Post-its are particularly useful for open-endedquestions, such as economics would be muchbetter for me if only I

    Responses can be posted on a flipchart or wall,and used as an exhibit.

    They can be photocopied and returned to They can be photocopied and returned tostudents.

    Post-its can be a fast way of finding out whatthe real intended learning outcomes are for agroup.

    They can also provide a measure of the learningincomesincomes of the group.

  • FaceFace--toto--face communicationface communication

    Monday, 21 February 2011Monday, 21 February 2011 1919

    Making all the channels workMaking all the channels work

  • Face-to-face one-to-one feedbackactivity

    Please work in pairs, moving around the room,talking to different people using the scriptwhich follows

    The script:

    A Hello.

    B Hello.

    Monday, 21 February 2011 Teaching smarter (Phil Race) 20

    B Hello.

    A You are late.

    B I know.

    Try to do it completely differently each time.

  • The power of face-to-facecommunication

    When explaining assessment criteria to students, andwhen linking these to evidence of achievement of theintended learning outcomes, we need to make the mostof face-to-face whole group contexts and,,,

    Tone of voice

    Body language

    Facial expression

    Monday, 21 February 2011 Teaching smarter (Phil Race) 21

    Facial expression

    Eye contact

    The chance to repeat things

    The chance to respond to puzzled looks

    Some things cant work nearly so well just on paper oron screens.

  • Useful sources Knight, P and Yorke, M (2003) Assessment, learning and

    employability Maidenhead, UK SRHE/Open UniversityPress.

    Bowl, M (2003) Non-traditional entrants to highereducation they talk about people like me Stoke on Trent,UK, Trentham Books.

    Gibbs, G (2010) Using assessment to support studentlearning Leeds: Leeds Met Press.learning Leeds: Leeds Met Press.

    Boud, D and Associates (2010) Assessment 2020: sevenpropositions for assessment reform in higher educationSydney: Australian Learning and Teaching Council.

    Joughin, G (2010) A short guide to oral assessmentLeeds: Leeds Met Press.

    See alsohttp://www.bioscience.heaca