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The University of Southampton
Researching Assessment Practices (RAP)


Neil Ford

Faculty of Business, Law, and Art

Discipline: Business

Focus: Assessment Feedback

Formative feedback has been identified as an important and under-utilised factor in student development. This case study is important because it evaluates structured peer learning sessions as a learning environment for providing formative peer feedback.

This case study is looking at how changes to students’ responses to the Feedback Orientation Scale (Linderbaum & Levy, 2010) differ before and after peer learning sessions as part of a business research module. The case study is looking at whether engagement with (attendance) at peer learning sessions is related to the amount of change on the feedback orientation scale. The peer learning sessions provided an opportunity for students to give each other feedback on their ideas for research topics and provide an informal setting for students to share knowledge and assess their progress against others on their cohort.



Max Chipulu

Faculty of Business, Law and Arts

Discipline: Business

Focus: Assessment Feedback

The objectives of the case study are to:

  1. Investigate whether students willingness to self-evaluate stimulates deeper learning and, consequently, positively influences performance on the task; and
  2. Conduct comparative analysis of students’ intentions to apply the focussed feedback versus students’ intentions to apply non-specific feedback on areas of improvement.

The intervention began with an Assignment clinic and feedback workshop, which, after introducing the RAP project and collecting pre-test data using the Feedback literacy questionnaire, proceeded as a focus group discussion of examples of area of improvement students may propose upon self-evaluation. We then asked students to request feedback on a specific area of improvement that based on their own self-evaluation of how the task went; they consider they will need the most help with going forward. About half of the requests were task-specific, e.g. experimentation, modelling using the software for the assignment, etc. Other requests concerned generic, transferable skills, particularly, writing clearly, concisely and communicating complex ideas using jargon-free language. Interim results suggest students who self-evaluated on the task may have been more deeply engaged than students who did not self-evaluate, but statistics are not yet confirmatory because the sample size is too small.  


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