Currently, electronic feedback can only be accessed by looking at individual assessments within Moodle courses. There is no single view where a student can see their feedback across modules. This fits a model where feedback is provided on a piecemeal basis with little continuity: Feedback tends to focus on the immediate task and unsurprisingly does not routinely include feed forward to future learning and assessment. Yet developmental feedback can guide the learner on what to do next to improve (Hattie & Timperley 2007) and open a learning dialogue that allows learners to clarify assessment aims and criteria, identify progress and develop self-reliance (Hughes 2014).
While tutors still need to build these aspects into their practice, the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) can facilitate this by displaying feedback from various assessments together. Our project aims to collate all electronic student feedback within a single interface to improve the way students and staff view, interact with, and act upon feedback through engagement, self-review and self-correction opportunities that focus on longer-term learning (Nicol 2010).
As a first step, a ‘My Feedback’ plugin has been released to the open-source Moodle community to enable other institutions to benefit from this tool, to enable rapid development of features, and to aid debugging. A developer from another university has already helped to future proof the report by debugging some issues that emerged in a recent Moodle release. UCL students also helped guide the development by participating in focus groups during the rapid prototyping phase.
This development addresses several benefits identified by Ferrell & Gray (2015) in the context of the Jisc Electronic Management of Assessment programme, such as providing “new opportunities to improve student understanding […] by extracting and analysing data held in an online marking system”. While the current My Feedback report already collates feedback and grades in one place for students to view, future versions will allow staff to access this information in order to identify patterns across assessments and thus better support students. This also feeds into the Jisc Effective Learning Analytics programme, responding to “the need to show details of assessments already completed and grades obtained, and the dates, locations and requirements of impending ones” (Sclater 2014).
The Moodle plugin is available at:
Ferrell, J. & Gray, L. (2015) Electronic Management of Assessment Guide. Bristol: Jisc. Available from: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/guides/electronic-assessment-management [Accessed 27 March 2015].
Hattie, J. & Timperley, H. (2007) The Power of Feedback. Review of Educational Research 77(1): 81-112.
Hughes, G. (2014) Ipsative Assessment: Motivation through marking progress. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Nicol, D. (2010) From monologue to dialogue: improving written feedback processes in mass higher education. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education 35(5): 501-517.
Sclater, N. (2014) A student app for learning analytics. Effective Learning Analytics blog, 19 December. Available from: http://analytics.jiscinvolve.org/wp/2014/12/19/a-student-app-for-learning-analytics [Accessed: 27 March 2015].