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The University of Southampton
Researching Assessment Practices (RAP)


Sharon Pettit

Faculty of Social, Human and Mathematical Sciences

Discipline: Psychology

Focus:  Developing student assessment literacy: how to use feedback effectively

For feedback to influence learning, it must be used (Winstone et al, 2016).  Some of the barriers found to prevent students from using feedback effectively are: difficulty understanding feedback (its jargon and how it might be useful); difficulty knowing how to translate feedback into action plans; and student readiness to engage.  We wanted to address some of these barriers.  All first year Psychology u/g students had the opportunity to participate in an optional 1 hour interactive session called “how to use feedback effectively”.  This focused on (1) what is feedback, (2) what are its benefits, (3) what thoughts and feelings might we have that helps/hinders use of feedback, (4) how can we skilfully use feedback as a learning tool to improve.  This was facilitated by Sylwia Cisek and Ed Redhead (module leads), and Sharon Pettit (researcher). We also provided all students with a “How to use feedback guide” from the HEA resource “Developing Engagement with Feedback Toolkit (Winstone & Nash, 2016).  Module leads then incorporated additional activities into their module either during tutorials or embedded in lectures (informed by the DEFT toolkit), linking back to the assessment session content and the feedback guide.  Study participants completed four measures before and after the interventions.


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