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Automated Student Feedback: A Case Study

Staff teaching on the undergraduate module “Management & Organisations” were concerned about the amount of time it took to provide written feedback to students on their coursework assessment (students were required to produce a report on a business case study). There were over 500 students registered annually for this core degree module. Also of concern was the consistency and quality of feedback given to students:

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some staff wrote detailed comments, others offered brief responses; some staff gave advice on how to improve on future assessments, while other staff adhered to summative feedback; and so on. It was not only that different staff could approach the feedback in inconsistent ways, it was also recognized that there was the danger that the same member of staff could unwittingly be inconsistent in dealing with different students (e.g. in trying to think up different ways of saying the same thing, again and again, they could accidentally use a wrong or misleading phrase).Check the site Filmy god

It was decided to implement an automated feedback system. This seemed to offer a solution: if it worked, it should be easy to use and give students consistent and meaningful feedback and, hopefully, save staff time thinking up pertinent comments again and again [6], [7]. To begin with, which software package to use?

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The teaching team decided against purchasing an off-the-shelf software package, given the costs and inevitable mismatch between what the teaching team wanted and what the software could do, leading to the assessment feedback having to fit in with the software capabilities. The solution? Create a document in Word to store the marking template.

Then, within Word, develop commands – called Macros – to allow the marker to retrieve, from a bank of previously stored feedback comments, feedback appropriate to a student’s assessment performance. Lastly, when marking time was approaching, issue the feedback 190 J. Biggam template to staff and give them the instructions on how to call up and insert the feedback comments onto their online marking sheet.

The first stage was to create the assessment feedback template. This merely replicated the current marking sheet (Figure 1). A (large) space was left at the bottom of the sheet for feedback comments, below the total mark.

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