Student engagement with their feedback is often limited, with some students only looking at their mark and not accessing the feedback comments at all. Part of the reason for this is that students often cannot see where the feedback can be applied in the future – known as having somewhere for feedback to land. Often feedback is provided after work on a module has finished and with no further work on that module, students may lack the feedback literacy to use their feedback as feedforward for other modules or see the link to other pieces of work, even if they are not the same format.
In this pilot study, we flipped the feedback for two pieces of coursework in a module and asked students to submit a draft report prior to releasing generic feedback and a self-evaluation for the students to complete based on common errors from previous years. As part of this reflection, the students needed to rate themselves against the mark scheme, identify things they were already doing well, things they could improve on and things they need to start doing. Additionally, students were asked to identify one or two areas that they would like specific feedback on. They were then allowed to submit a final version of their report. Both versions of the report were marked using an online rubric with only very brief, generic feedback statements. Students were surveyed to determine their satisfaction with this approach, with an overwhelmingly positive response, as well as an average 9% increase in scores from draft to final version ranging from 0 to 31% improvement.
Overall the average mark for the coursework in this module rose by 7% from 55% to 62% compared to last year’s cohort who did not use the flipped feedback approach. Despite marking the draft and final submission, actual staff marking time decreased as fewer comments needed to be made on submissions as students had self-identified their shortcomings. Overall this approach has shown a positive improvement of student engagement with their feedback and enhanced learning opportunities.