Purposeful Feedback: improving practices among staff and students

By Willie McGuire

This project builds on prior funded research (Glasgow University Learning and Teaching Development funding, Small Bids Funding, Teaching Innovation funding from 2017-19) conducted by Willie McGuire and colleagues that investigated the key features of effective feedback protocols and deployed the same staff-student pairings who were involved in the earlier studies. It aimed to create a set of CPD materials, using the SWAY app, to support both staff and students to improve their practices. Effective feedback is vital in learning at all stages and this work has targeted two aspects of assessment feedback: its architecture (by staff) and its impact (on students) and uses primary data from three postgraduate courses that deployed a previously-constructed feedback paradigm to address concerns extant in the literature. The key aims were to locate: examples of helpful practice; examples of less than helpful practice and then to identify feedback artefacts that could provide helpful support for both students and staff in improving their practices. Three sets of staff-tutor groups were established to analyse the primary data - 100 feedback sheets created in response to the Professional Enquiry and Decision-Making course which comprises 30 credits of the MEd in Professional Practice. Each team was tasked with scrutinising approximately 30 feedback sheets. As a result of this work, a range of external institutions, both UK and transnational, have adopted the feedback protocols described.