Immediate feedback for large student groups

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The Teaching and Learning Institute is gathering short case studies of academic practice to enable colleagues to share their approaches to teaching and learning more widely and encourage interdisciplinary and interprofessional learning.

The Teaching and Learning Institute coordinates, evaluates and disseminates inspiring and innovative teaching and learning.

In this case study Dr Deborah Allcock from the Business School writes about techniques for giving students immediate feedback in team based learning activities on a module that she leads. The team teaching Strategy implemented these techniques to promote the learning of some of the core knowledge and definitions for their subject.

Why did you decide to try this out?

It all started with Dr Deborah Allcock’s research looking at studies that showed significantly better performance in students who were given immediate feedback over those with delayed feedback.  This was also demonstrated in team-based learning techniques. However, with over 350 students taking the module, timely feedback provides a challenge, but doing something more immediate was an idea that appealed to the team.  This year, they have used an exciting and innovative technique that transformed knowledge and understanding concepts via multiple choice testing.  This was not the traditional right or wrong answer type of multiple choice practices though.  For strategy, they combined this with partial credit scoring that is based on the concept of rewarding the certainty of students’ answers; they also used this both individually and in team activities. With strategy as the driver, this was used in a top management team scenario to encourage team thinking, but the technique could be applied to other contexts, individual or team learning.  Immediate feedback back requested and provided all with planning and the aid of scratch cards.

Unlike the lottery, partial credit marking takes away the randomness of the guess.  The scratch cards are provided with question numbers and covered a-d answers, which mean that students consider their answer and when certain, they scratch off the corresponding letter, just like scratching off a lottery ticket, but hopefully with better results.  If correct, a star is revealed (4 points) and it’s time to celebrate! If  it’s the wrong answer, then students are required to review the question and keep going, scratching off a second (2 points), hopefully not a third (1 point), until the correct answer is identified.  Importantly, the student never leaves the question without knowing the correct answer.  Immediate feedback achieved.

The strategy team used this with student teams, but this could be used individually and in many different styles of modules.  The students found it fun and the use of team discussions enhanced the learning further, with some session scorings getting very competitive.  So far we have used this formatively, and the technique worked well with the large numbers. It has also turned out to be a great technique for promoting understanding of core concepts.  Looking at students’ choices provides the opportunity to review misconceptions at the time, but also gives us the chance to go on to practice-based skills, which are so important for future graduate employment.

What’s next?

The technique was also part of work that Debbie developed for the Inspire Conference module*, which provided a useful opportunity to think about new techniques. Debbie is looking forward to presenting about implementing the techniques at the 2016 Inspire Conference on 21st June (there are a number of places available for University of Huddersfield staff – book a place)

“it has been an excellent opportunity to put time aside to consider teaching, learning and assessment, there are so many different aspects that can be used to bring innovative techniques in to students’ learning”

The project has grown significantly from the Inspire Conference module, and future conference and publications are now in progress.  If you want to know more about immediate feedback techniques or team based learning, then why not contact Debbie in the Business School.

*The Inspire Conference is a 20-credit module, built around a one-day conference, at which delegates present a paper which discusses an experimental teaching session which they have developed.

Posted by Kathrine Jensen (@kshjensen), Research Assistant, Teaching and Learning Institute.

The Teaching and Learning Institute coordinates, evaluates and disseminates inspiring and innovative teaching and learning. Follow TALI on Twitter

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About talintuoh

Supporting and connecting colleagues to develop inspiring and innovative teaching and learning
This entry was posted in academic practice, Learning experience, pedagogy, professional development, student engagement, Teaching and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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