Assessment Feedback: We can do better

Carol Evans


Much has been written about the potential of assessment feedback to achieve significant gains in student attainment and learning (Black and Wiliam, 1998). Assessment feedback is taken here to include “information provided by any agent (e.g., teacher, peer, book, parent, self, experience) regarding aspects of one’s performance or understanding” (Hattie and Timperley, 2007: 81). However, within higher education in the last 30 years relatively little attention has been given to student and lecturer perceptions of the value and usefulness of feedback (Poulos and Mahoney, 2008; Scott et al., 2011; Weaver, 2006). Disparities in student and staff perceptions of feedback are well reported (Carless, 2006), with Burke (2009) arguing for more explicit attention to be paid to how students use the feedback they have been given.

However, there is now a much stronger degree of consensus as to what constitutes effective feedback practice especially through the use of holistic feedback designs where assessment is considered as an integral aspect of teaching (Boud and Associates, 2010; Nicol, 2008; Scott et al., 2011).

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Editor-in-Chief: Prof Norbert Pachler
UCL Institute of Education, University College London
ISSN 1746-9082