284 – Exploring ways of using formative feedback to improve student engagement with simulation modules – Vicky Thirlaway, Amy Musgrove

It is now well established that courses should seek to use Assessment for Learning, rather than Assessment of Learning, and that the form of assessment can have a significant impact on the student experience (the “backwash” effect described by Biggs (1996)). A key component of any assessment for learning strategy is to include authentic assessment tasks which the students can see have a relationship to the “real world” (McDowell, 2012; Gikandi et al., 2011). Fostering student engagement with a “make believe” scenario is a challenge: the activities must be perceived to be “credible” if students are going to engage with them.

Simulation can be an effective way of allowing students to contextualise their learning and develop the skills they will need to turn theory into practice. It can, therefore, have a role to play in developing employability skills.

Research demonstrates that formative assessment and feedback can significantly improve student performance (Black and Wiliam, 1998) and arguably, this is even more crucial when the assessment measures skills of application that the student may not have had to demonstrate in their previous educational experiences (Ramaprasad, 1983; Sadler, 1989 cited in Jordan, 2012).  Tutors often feel that students fail to engage with formative assessment, and take little notice of feedback provided (Orsmond et al., 2013).

This presentation will argue that cohorts of students are primarily strategic learners, and therefore are reluctant to engage with learning activities that do not directly feed into assessment, even where they acknowledge the validity of the exercise (Coles, 2009). It will be suggested that “formative” assessment should be compulsory and, therefore, must be part of the totality of summative assessment on the module. We have some experience of embedding compulsory formative assessment and feedback within a simulation exercise. The presentation will evaluate the successes and shortcomings of our experience, and consider alternative ways of providing formative feedback within the simulation whilst maintaining the authenticity of the task and the credibility of the summative assessment.

References

Biggs JB (1996) “Assessing learning quality: Reconciling institutional, staff and educational demands” Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 21: 5–16.

Black, P and Wiliam, D (1998) “Assessment and classroom learning” Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice” 5(1): 7-73

Cauley, K, M and McMillan, J. H (2010) “Formative Assessment Techniques to support student motivation and achievement” The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 83:1, 1-6

Carless, D, D. Salter, M, Yang, and J. Lam. (2011) “Developing sustainable feedback practices” Studies in Higher Education 36, no. 4: 395–407.

Clark, I (2008) “Assessment is for Learning: Formative Assessment and Positive Learning Interactions” Florida Journal of Educational Adminsitration & Policy 2(1): 1-15

Clarke, I (2012) “Formative Assessment: Assessment is for self-regulated learning” Educ Psychol Rev, 24, 205-249

Coles, C (2009) “The Role of New Technology in Improving Engagement among Law Students in Higher Education”, Journal of Information, Law & Technology (JILT), 3, <http://go.warwick.ac.uk/jilt/2009_3/coles>

Duncan, N. (2007) “Feedforward’: Improving students’ use of tutors’ comments.” Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 32, no. 3: 271–83.

Gikandi, J. W, Morrow, D and Davis, N. E (2011) “Online formative assessment in higher education: A review of the literature” Computers and Education, 57, 2333-2351

Handley, K, Price, M and Millar, J (2011) “Beyond ‘doing time’: Investigating the concept of student engagement with feedback” Oxford Review of Education, vol37, No.4, Aug 2011, 543-560

Jordan, S (2012) “Student engagement with assessment and feedback: Some lessons from short-answer free-text e-assessment questions” Computers and Education, 818-834

Mann, S.J. (2001) “Alternative perspectives on the student experience: alienation and engagement” Studies in Higher Education, 26(1): 7-19

McDowell, L. ‘Assessment for Learning’ in L. Clouder & Broughan (eds) (2012) “Improving Student Engagement and Development Through Assessment” London: Taylor & Francis

Orsmond, P, Maw, S, Park, S, Gomez, S & Crook, A. (2013): Moving feedback forward: theory to practice, Assessment & Evaluation in HigherEducation, 38:2, 240-252

Parkin, H. J, Hepplestone, S, Holden, G Irwin, B and Thorpe, L (2012) “A role for technology in enhancing students’ engagement with feedback” Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, Vo.37, No.8, Dec 2012, 963-973

Price, M, Handley, K and Millar, J (2011) “Feedback: Focusing attention on engagement.” Studies in Higher Education, Vol.36, No.8, Dec 2011, 879-896

Schartel, S. A (2012) “Giving Feedback: An integral part of education” Best Practice and Clinical Anaesthesiology, 26, 77-87

Wingate, U (2010) “The impact of formative feedback on the development of academic writing” Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, vol.35, No.5, Aug 2010, 519-533

284 Final power point SHU conference

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About Adele Evans

My career has spanned over 30 years, I have worked mainly in education but in varying roles. My first role was at an Estate Agents, this was not a good experience and was dominated by senior management belittling office staff and deciding that the role should be to make tea and coffee for all 15 employees. I felt devalued and gained little work experience and decided that working in this industry wasn't for me. I think experiences like this shape you, I may not have learnt much about how to work in Estate Agents but I did realise that being encouraging, supportive and making people feel valued is truly important. I proceeded to work at Westcourt Property Services as a P.A. for the rented department. Even though I was only there a couple of years it was the first time I was working with new people and at varying levels which I gained a lot of experience and support from. I was eager to learn and to develop my work based skills. I applied for a job at Sheffield Hallam University when there was a recruitment fair in 1990 and was offered a 1 year temporary post, I took this opportunity as the money was more than double to what I was earning in my P.A. post and I knew that Sheffield Hallam would give me much more potential for a further career. I worked hard in a small team in Financial Studies and Law and managed to get my post made into a permanent position. I then made a sideways move to work in Student Finance, I was sceptical about a sideways move but it really paid off as my manager at the time was very supportive and I worked with a good team. I was encouraged to apply for a part-time HNC Business and Finance course at SHU with the potential of continuing my study onto degree level. The course was challenging as I had been out of education for about 7 years and there was a lot of work and with working full time it was demanding, however, I found my strengths studying subjects that appealed to me. The course gave me experience and a confidence boost that I really needed and made me realise that I could with hard work and dedication, I could achieve anything that I put my mind to. I got married a year later and then had my son and reduced to part-time, I was interviewed for the line manager role while I was on maternity leave and I was successful in that post. After having my daughter, my career then progressed from there, I gained the Head of Student Finance Centre part-time and line managed between 8 - 12 members of staff, I also began working part-time in other roles within the university so I could gain more experience. Working full time in two different roles had its challenges but you gain so much from working in different roles and with different people. I took the opportunity to develop my skills further by attending many training courses at SHU. The role expanded considerably due to the changes in government which impacted on student finance, but this gave me a great opportunity, I enjoyed the challenge and welcomed change and new ways of working. I also became an independent investigator for the university which really enhanced my skills in listening and report writing. I have worked at Sheffield Hallam University for 27 years in many different roles including School of Financial Studies and Law, Student Services, Admissions and UK Recruitment, Human Resources, Quality Enhancement, Library and Student Support Services (L3S) and now in Marketing. During this time I have gained a huge amount of experience from my varying roles and working with different people, I learnt that you absorb a lot of information and experience from the people you work with at all levels. I have previously worked as a Business Relationship Manager for L3S, working closely with my designated faculty of Health and Wellbeing. I now work as a Business Partner for Marketing and support the Sheffield Business School, I manage and develop effective working relationships, enhance knowledge and understanding of team priorities within Marketing and align strategic plans with the Faculty. During my working life I have learnt many things: • Making mistakes is ok, it's what makes you learn. • Believing in yourself is a difficult skill but one that everyone needs to undertake if you don't believe in yourself who will, building confidence and channelling negative thoughts is essential. • Consulting with people effectively, actively listening to their answers and making sure they feel valued is always beneficial, not just for the individuals but also for you. I've learnt that one of the best ways of learning is to learn from others. • Work life balance - balancing children and a busy work schedule. Knowing when to click off at the end of the day. • Everyone is different and we must learn to embrace diversity. • Don' t be afraid to take on new challenges, even pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, it's how you develop yourself, you can always ask for support and the sense of achievement and the skills learnt will be with you going forward in your career. • Being forward thinking and expecting change, things change and we have to accept that so learn to prepare and embrace it. Change is how we all progress. Challenges I have overcome • I found being a young female and lacking in confidence is something that some people would take advantage of and talk down to you, this happened at varying times throughout my early career, I realised that believing in myself, being prepared, using my emotional intelligence skills and making sure I appear confident means that others stop doubting you. What is it I can provide for the mentee • I am friendly, warm and approachable and get fulfilment from inspiring confidence in people. • I am a good listener. • We will learn from each other and build and develop personal and professional effectiveness. • I gain satisfaction by supporting others and helping develop their strengths and supporting them. • I believe it is key to be forward thinking and plan your personal ambitions and think creatively. • Support you with your wellbeing, share my experiences.