Module assessment and feedback information
The Department gives high priority to the timeliness and quality of assessment/feedback to students on all modules. Feedback is an essential part of learning. The primary purpose of feedback is to assist learning and the development of skills, by highlighting strengths and weaknesses on one hand and by identifying actions for improvement on the other. It is important that you recognize two important factors: that feedback comes in various forms and that feedback requires your active engagement.
Forms of feedback
Firstly, regarding the various forms of feedback, these may be:
- Unstructured - for example from fellow students in group work, or perhaps via dialogue with a lecturer or teacher in or outside of a tutorial, class or laboratory, or by email;
- Semi-structured - for example via the assessment of practical, laboratory, coursework or project submissions;
- Formal - via progress tests or examinations.
Often feedback is targeted to the individual, however this is not the only the mode of delivery. You should pay particular attention to feedback given to the whole of your class or group, for example via digests of common errors in assignments or tests, so you recognize common areas for improvement and factors you may not have thought of.
Gaining appropriate feedback
Secondly, to gain appropriate feedback, you must actively engage in the teaching process. For example, if you fail to prepare tutorial work and/or fail to turn up for tutorials or classes you will have lost opportunities for feedback. Likewise you should have realistic expectations on the type and quantity of feedback to be expected as you progress through the years.
From the start, you should not expect every misspelling, typo or other error in a report to be identified. Nor will every one of your tutorials, sample programmes or other assignments be examined in detail and extensive corrections supplied. Much of this feedback is delivered in the group or class setting, where you will learn not only from your mistakes but from those of others.
Obviously before undertaking any task or assignment you should be well aware of the requirements and assessment criteria – this avoids much wasted effort.
Again bear in mind that feedback is there to identify means for improvement in an appropriate manner. It should not dwell on each minute failing and hence cannot be exhaustive. Over the course of your studies, you will complete many tests, individual and group exercises, reports as well as other assignments and examinations.
It is expected that you will make full use of all opportunities to assess your performance and learn how to improve the competencies and skills you will need for your professional career. For undergraduate students your personal tutor plays an important role in this.
Whilst this is particularly so in the first year via the laboratory exercises and guidance in report writing, personal tutors are also available to discuss your progress throughout the course.