Feedback has been highlighted as the most powerful influence on student achievement, but students are often less satisfied with feedback than with other aspects of the student experience. It is hence important that ways of offering feedback are found that are useful both for improving learning and for gaining student satisfaction. This ongoing study was designed to explore and to improve feedback in a variety of differing contexts, two of which are reported here: i) audio feedback on a first year undergraduate written assignment in Geography (product-oriented feedback); and ii) video feedback from ongoing laboratory sessions with first-year Biosciences students (process-oriented feedback). These contexts have been selected as offering different ways of working and for highlighting a number of issues and areas for further development. Student and staff views have been gained via surveys, focus groups, individual interviews and ‘stimulated recall’ sessions. Findings suggest that students have high expectations in relation to feedback; many anticipate the kinds of individual face-to-face interaction they experienced in school and are not easily satisfied by other ways of working. In addition, offering audio or video feedback that is supportive to learning in both affective and cognitive terms is not necessarily easy. In the context of written assignments there is still much to be learned about appropriateness of length, tone, the register of language, the balance between praise and criticism, and the best contexts and timing for audio feedback. In the context of large classes for laboratory sessions, further research is needed on how lecturers and demonstrators can give ongoing feedback that is useful when captured for replay in video form, and also about how effective video taken in class might be then used for training purposes in order to enable student demonstrators to be more effective and knowledgeable when offering feedback to student
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