Student-staff partnerships in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Student-staff partnerships in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Issued: Fri, 16 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT

Following a call for bids launched by the University’s Assessment and Feedback Working Group two students have secured funded internships.

Class representatives - Eliška Kosová and Hazel Oakley (German for International Mobility, Levels 2 and 3) -  will access the internships as part of the Student-Staff Partnership Scheme in Enhancing Assessment and Feedback.

Working with Assistant Vice-Principal (Learning & Teaching) Professor Moira Fischbacher-Smith, and under the guidance of school-level mentor Natalie Finlayson (Convenor of Modern Languages), the interns are collecting feedback from their peers regarding personal motives for studying the subject, and using these to assist in the development of feedback practices and assessment designs congruent with the overall intended learning outcomes of the course.

The idea for the project was born from discussions held at the third LEAF symposium, and recent Student-Staff Liaison Committee meetings in SMLC, over the challenges involved in integrating effective assessment and feedback methods into courses primarily taught by members of the extended workforce, whose paid workloads do not include provision of feedback outside class time.

The main purpose of the study, therefore, is to find ways of maximising the use of contact teaching time to enhance assessment and feedback practices during class hours.

From responses to EvaSys surveys, and a purpose-built questionnaire for current students, the team are pinpointing areas of the course which could benefit from additional input. For example, students reported planning to study or work in Germany, but struggling with the speaking and listening aspects of the language.

As a result, course tutors Natalie Finlayson and Eleanor Caldwell are placing particular emphasis on providing formative feedback in these areas this semester, encouraging speaking practice and peer-to-peer feedback in a relaxed setting, holding one-on-one consultations with students, and designing Moodle quizzes, oral assessments and exam papers which better reflect students’ motivations for studying the language.

The team will circulate further questionnaires at the end of the semester to assess the extent to which students have found this helpful.