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Exploring occupational therapy students' use of assessment feedback

By Karen Beaulieu

Abstract

This research emerged from a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education reflective portfolio. Students need to compare their assessment performance against learning goals and be able to close any gaps (Price 2005). Most students grasp basic points but some badly misinterpret feedback (McCune 2004). It is therefore important to explore assessment strategies and feedback processes to determine if feedback influences learning. This primary, qualitative research method recruited a purposive sample of 18 final year students and collected data by exploring student’s experiences of assessment feedback via two focus groups. A pilot group ensured unbiased wording and promoted validity. Ethical approval was provided by the University Ethics Committee. Analysis of transcripts from the taped groups was coded and concept headings generated reflecting the meanings of words and phrases. Concepts were analysed into emerging categories which were compared to the group consensus and used to structure the results (Brown et al. 2005). Results suggest that student’s value specific feedback and mark justification, that they interpret it differently, that feedback is only useful if it helps learning and that the timing of it is crucial. Results are relevant to other learning institutions. Implications for practice are that the quality of feedback needs to be enhanced to promote lifelong learning.\ud \ud Brown, L., Herd, K., Humphries, G., Paton, M. (2005) The role of the lecturer in practice placements: what do students think? Nurse Education in Practice, 5, 84-90.\ud \ud McCune, V. (2004) Development of first year student’s conceptions of essay writing. Higher Education, 47, 257-282.\ud \ud Price, M. (2005) Engaging Students with Assessment Feedback: What Works? [online] York: The Higher Education Academy. Available from: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/333.htm [Accessed on 10th May 2007].\u

Topics: R735, RM735
OAI identifier: oai:nectar.northampton.ac.uk:1317
Provided by: NECTAR

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Citations

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