||This short paper will share interim outcomes of a research project at Sheffield College on the current forms and impact of engagement by learners with feedback from tutors. Colleagues will be able to develop their understanding of the student experience at Level 3 in a Business and Professional Studies environment, as well as considering implications for supporting successful transitions into Level 4 at SHU and beyond. The project broadly considered the use of formative and summative feedback as a teaching method to improve student attainment at HE. The current situation is that study skills are taught in an ‘ad hoc’ way by tutors but that these have been shown to be successful in enhancing student engagement. For example, incidents of in-module retrieval was reduced significantly year- on-year in one module. There is little overall focus, however, on students understanding what is required of them in assessment and when reflecting on tutor feedback. For most tutors, engaging students in feedback is not the focus of their energies. The hypothesis of the project was that students who internalise academic standards perform better than those who don’t. One anticipated outcome was a reduction in the incidences of ‘in-module retrieval’ and to generally increase grades; another was to support staff in bridging the divide between L3 and L4, giving ‘weaker’ students (typically the ones who fail to achieve 40% from their first attempt) the skills and knowledge to be able to cross that threshold. Many students who opt to complete a foundation degree at Hillsborough College do so because it is a route to university (SHU) for those with only 120 UCAS points. We have to work hard to help students move from working at a low-level L3 to L4 (and, eventually L5 and L6) as many students find this transition difficult.
307 SHU L&T Conference June 2013