The session will present a process, the tools and the effects of implementing a recursive, asynchronous feedback system on the first study skills module with international students. The module takes place in a college which prepares students to enter mainstream Higher Education. Students may never have done any of their own research and synthesised that information with their own opinions. The difference between plagiarism, paraphrase and collusion and the genre of essay writing (Schutz & Richards, 2004) are key to the course and students need multiple feedback points to improve (Nicol & Macfarlane-Dick, 2006).
To address this, the students are given six sources over the first six weeks ot the module and asked to read, take notes and write a summary of each one, although class time is set aside for this. These notes are then used to write an essay and give a presentation.
This project intersects with the conference theme “Participation through learning Technology” because it aims to increase student engagement with set sources, improve digital literacies and promote academic best practice by encouraging incremental writing (Li, 2006). The project also aimed to help students avoid plagiarism by giving contextualised paraphrasing practice and added an element of continuous assessment to the module to increase engagement (Holmes, 2015).
10 Mins: A short presentation of the system and how it works.
We will present an online homework submission system we devised for students on an EAP course. The aim of the system was to increase significantly students engagement with set reading material for the course and production of written summaries.
10 Mins: Demonstrate the system from the student and then teacher perspective.
Using Nearpod I will show teachers how the students submit text for feedback, and how teachers give feedback. There will also be short “how to” videos explaining how to implement different features.
10 Mins: Results and analysis.
We will present the effect the system had on student productivity as well as how it was used to make any increase in marking more manageable for teachers. We will also discuss varying attitudes among staff to using the system which ranged from resistant to enthusiastic.
Session content: evaluation and reflection
There are number of intersecting influences which led to this system. Incremental writing, feedback, rewriting, asynchronous collaboration, academic best practice, digital literacies and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
Two of the module learning outcomes of our study skills modules are connected to using sources, which are assessed explicitly in the support criterion. The average grade was often lower than the other categories and frequently mentioned as the weakest area in the Module Monitoring Reports. Feedback from markers was that students were engaging with the sources superficially and often using citations after a general opinion not explicitly stated in the source.
There were also issues with Academic Misconduct, where students were copying paragraphs from the source and changing individual words rather than writing an original summary. In oral defences of their work students seemed unable to demonstrate understanding of the sources they claimed to be citing.
We customised free Google products and addons to create a submission and marking system increased digital literacies without increasing the teachers’ workload.
Feedback is collected from teachers through Padlet, face-to-face and by email. Student feedback was gathered through Student Reps, anonymous feedback box and face-to-face. Student submission numbers, number of words written and summative grades are compared.
Details will be offered as to the development cycle and how taking an iterative approach to process development can expose varying attitudes towards digitisation and generate affordances which would otherwise not be possible.
Nicol, D. J., & Macfarlane-Dick, D. (2006). Formative assessment and self-regulated learning: A model and seven principles of good feedback practice. Studies in Higher Education, 31(2), 199-218.
Holmes, N. (2015). Student perceptions of their learning and engagement in response to the use of a continuous e-assessment in an undergraduate module. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 40(1), 1-14.
Li, J. (2006). The mediation of technology in ESL writing and its implications for writing assessment. Assessing Writing, 11(1), 5-21.
Schutz, A., & Richards, M. (2003). International students’ experience of graduate study in canada. Journal of the International Society for Teacher Education, 7(1), 56.
Resources for participants