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Effective practice at Cardiff

The below summaries of existing effective practice at Cardiff have been collected and made available to help ensure that practice across the University can be further enhanced.   The resource will continue to grow over time, as many of the other existing examples of effective practice are identified and made available.  Staff wishing to share brief details of their own effective practice are encoutraged to contact Andy Lloyd in Registry.

The examples have been arranged alphabetically, by School.

ARCHI ENCAP PSYCH SHARE
CARBS LEARN SOCSI
DENTL MEDIC SOHCS

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Two-stage feedback to help improve learning (ARCHI)
Designed to introduce new undergraduate students to effective research and referencing techniques, the feedback is a two-stage process, with feedback given for a research exercise; feedback for the completed essay is subsequently given on the same sheet so that students and teachers can see how well the feedback advice was applied and the progress made.
The initiative operates:
within a module
Number of students:
entire year, number depends on intake
Contact:
Kathryn Wilkinson
Email:
wilkinsonk2@cf.ac.uk

 

Use of a ‘Statement Bank’ (CARBS)
Use of a ‘Statement Bank’ which speeds up marking of essays whilst also providing more detailed & helpful comments to students. The statement bank is provided to students at the start of the module so that they can be aware of the common errors that are often made.
The initiative operates:
within a module
across a programme
Number of students:
60
Contact:
Christopher Hood
Email:
HoodCP@Cardiff.ac.uk

 

Assessment and Feedback Blueprint (DENTL)
Assessment and Feedback Blueprint for our BDS programme School Assessment and Feedback Strategy and Implementation Plan Feedback proformas for all summative assessments on BDS programme
The initiative operates:
across a programme
across the School
Number of students:
500
Contact:
Paul Dummer
Email:
dummer@cardiff.ac.uk

 

Reflective feedback through Learning Central (ENCAP)
The programme, which is deliberately constructed in line with Cardiff’s PCUTL course and which will prepare students and for precisely this kind of teaching programme, which most universities now require new staff to undertake, is now into its second year. Central to the module is a virtual ‘library’ of pedagogy and associated material, which is held on Learning Central. The two-year course requires its participants to attend three workshops each year; for four of these the student is required to write a reflective account of the workshop experience or of how they have put what they have learned into practice. These accounts then become part of their portfolio, which also included peer observations, academic observations, reflective accounts of their own seminar work and of lectures from the modules that their teaching supports as well as a 2,000 word reflective essay on their teaching practice. The reflective accounts of the workshops are posted on the discussion board attached to the module on Learning Central; participants have access to each others’ accounts and can post comments on them, and as the convenor of the programme I also read the accounts and write feedback on them in the same medium. Initially feedback was given verbally or in hard copy, but the participants prefer the immediacy of the electronic feedback while I also find it quicker to read and comment on screen and directly. But while this is a great way to manage feedback on small numbers of students, I do not see it as being effective for undergraduate students in English Literature, partly because of the very high numbers we teach, partly because the onus is on the student to complete the exercise and read the feedback and partly because the nature of the feedback we give, which is often very detailed and closely related to issues of style as well as content.
The initiative operates:
within a module
Number of students:
26
Contact:
Heather Worthington
Email:
worthingtonhj@cardiff.ac.uk

 

Use of Grademark (LEARN)
The course ‘High-Level Translation French-English Translation Practice’ is taught on-line. Early 2009-2010, with the support of the programme e-CPD, we moved the course to Blackboard and re-designed the way assignments were marked and fed back to students.We decided to integrate the use of the software GradeMark (Turnitin) to replace the somewhat cumbersome Word-based ‘comment’ facility.  Advantages to this new development are three-fold. Firstly, students can immediately identify the area of their text which triggered tutor’s comments.  Secondly, once the tutor became familiar with the system, she said this resulted in a significant gain of time.  Lastly, and importantly, as far as moderation is concerned, there is no doubt that GradeMark provides a more comprehensive set of information for the moderator and the external examiner – the former did comment on this.
The initiative operates:
within a module
Number of students:
50
Contact:
Dr Catherine Chabert & Helga Eckart
Email:
ChabertC@Cardiff.ac.uk, Eckart@Cardiff.ac.uk

 

Feedback on student performance in clinical exams (MEDIC)
We provide graphical represenation of students’ performance in clinical exams, according to performance domains, such as data gathering, communication skills, that shows the cohort performance in those domains, with the student’s performance within the range clearly marked.  We are developing methods for providing individual written feedback on clinical exams performance, using optical scanning methodology.
The initiative operates:
across the School
Number of students:
All
Contact:
Kamila Hawthorne
Email:
HawthorneK@cf.ac.uk

 

Presentation Checklists (MEDIC)
Use of ‘checklist’ for presentations that students complete for their peers as well as me.
The initiative operates:
within a module
Number of students:
6 – 8
Contact:
Ann Allen
Email:
AllenAK@cf.ac.uk

 

Written feedback on reflective portfolios (MEDIC)
Students are given prompt written feedback on their reflective portfolio entries.  The feedback is specific to the learning outcomes of the attachment (medicine in the community). The feedback is distributed via the ePortfolio and students receive an email as soon as their feedback has been released.
The initiative operates:
across a programme
Number of students:
350
Contact: Andrew Grant
Email: GrantAJ@Cardiff.ac.uk

 

Generic Feedback on Exams (PSYCH)
In the last two years, the School has taken the decision to provide generic examination feedback following each set of examinations.  Markers of each question write a summary of how students gained/or failed to gain marks when answering each of the exam questions on the paper, for example, may have failed to address the specific question asked, only included information covered in the lectures, gained additional marks by including reference to a comparative study, etc.  This information is compiled for each question for each examination, quality reviewed by the Chair of the TLC (to ensure a standard across different papers) and then placed on the School’s web pages for students to access.  The intention is that students will be able to identify why they achieved the marks they did, and be able to target what they need to do to improve. Personal tutors reinforce the message via PT meetings.
The initiative operates:
across a programme
Contact:
Judy McPherson
Email:
McPherson@Cardiff.ac.uk

 

Using Personal Tutors to support transition (PSYCH)
PSYCH restructured its undergraduate degree programmes specifically to address the transition that students need to make from school to university.  The study methods that enabled them to gain high A level grades are not the same as those needed at university.  In the first semester of Year 1, a lot of resource is put into getting this message across:  Graduate Teaching Assistants give detailed feedback on coursework and dedicated seminars on the avoidance of plagiarism and correct referencing.  Extensive written feedback is also provided via a cover sheet for each piece of coursework.  At the end of Level 1 (end of Semester 1, Year 1) students’ examinations are marked by their Personal Tutors.  Personal tutors are also the second markers for all coursework submitted by Year 1 students.  The intention, by these measures, is that each Personal Tutor gains a good insight into the academic progress of each of their tutees.  At the start of Semester 2, Year 1, Personal Tutors meet with their tutees.  For this meeting they are supplied with all the exam scripts of their tutees and a summary of each student’s provisional results, so that they can discuss progress from an informed position.
The initiative operates:
across a programme
Contact:
Judy McPherson
Email:
McPherson@Cardiff.ac.uk

 

Electronic marking of coursework (PSYCH)
Electronic marking of coursework has been adopted for almost all coursework in the School.  At Years 2 & Final year, electronic marking enables staff to give direct feedback via track change comments on the students’ work where it is relevant.  Covering mark/comments sheets are used for the project and dissertation at Final year.  Students are able to view the marker’s comments, with their Personal Tutor at their personal tutorial meeting following Semester 1 of the Final year.  The same is true with the project feedback, though after the final Examining Board, there is little take-up of this opportunity.The strategy in the giving of feedback has been front-loaded so that students have a lot of detailed feedback in the first semester of the first year, with some of it delivered individually and in small groups.  This is to help them make the transition from school to university and to develop an understanding of how to build upon feedback.  Generic feedback is given on examinations after the first semester and individual feedback is also provided on the dissertation and project in the final year.  The front-loading runs alongside the philosophy that students become more independent learners as they progress through their degree.
The initiative operates:
across a programme
Contact:
Judy McPherson
Email:
McPherson@Cardiff.ac.uk

 

Managing student expectations (PSYCH)
Feedback is supported by entry and exit talks now at each level of study.  These are talks given by the Year/Level Co-ordinators at each next stage of study.  They are designed to frame the context and shape students’ understanding of the School’s strategy for the next stage in their degree development.  They are about shaping expectations so that our students understand that there is a deliberate progression in the lessening of their dependence on individual feedback as they develop as independent learners and researchers.
The initiative operates:
across a programme
Contact:
Judy McPherson
Email:
McPherson@Cardiff.ac.uk

 

To improve quality and economy in enhancing feedback (PSYCH)
Feedback should have a purpose and the School is keen that it becomes part of the education.  If students are receiving detailed feedback, the School needs to be sure that they are learning from it.  At Year 1, personal tutors second mark all their tutees’ coursework; at Year 2 academic tutors mark their groups’ coursework essays (personal tutors will have their personal tutees in their academic group for tutorials for one semester in Year 2).  This arrangement ensures that the marker is aware of previous feedback given on work and whether a student is using previous feedback to inform future pieces of work.  Essays are submitted at regular intervals throughout the academic year in Year 2.  At final year, individual and group meetings take place with academic project supervisors based around project work.Students get the best out of feedback when it is focussed and they are expected to demonstrate via their next piece of work that they have done so.  This can only work if there are a number of similar types of course work submitted throughout the year and reasonable continuity of markers.  They are helped to do this by having academic tutors assigned to them for a period of time (normally one semester).
The initiative operates:
across a programme
Contact:
Judy McPherson
Email:
McPherson@Cardiff.ac.uk

 

Returning feedback before giving marks (SHARE)
In History, all year 1 and 2 modules contain summative assessment as a matter of course. In addition, in year 2 all summative assessment is initally returned without a mark and tutorials are arranged for the student to collect their mark to ensure one-to-one feedback and attention to written comments/feedback on the proforma/essay. New staff are also provided with feedback training and feedback guidelines along with marking criteria are communicated to all staff when assessments are submitted and distributed to staff
The initiative operates:
within a module
across a programme
Number of students:
approx 180 per year
Contact:
Keir Waddington
Email:
waddingtonk@cardiff.ac.uk

 

Feedback as the focus within PRLT (SOCSI, SOHCS, and SONMS) 
Further details as to how this worked in different schools are available from the contacts below.
The initiative operates:
across a programme / school
Number of students:
approx 250
Contact:
Martin Jephcote (SOCSI)
Sue Annetts (SOHCS)
Dr Dianne Watkins (SONMS)
Email:
Jephcote@Cardiff.ac.uk
Annetts@Cardiff.ac.uk
WatkinsSD@Cardiff.ac.uk

 

Practice Education – Feedback and feed forward mechanisms for students (SOHCS)
Although there are a standard set of learning outcomes for each placement, students use a learning contract to make the learning needs applicable to that setting. Students are supported in the development of this learning contract by both the placement educator and the university visiting tutor who must ensure incorporation of previously identified future learning needs (see below).Formal weekly supervision between the student and practice educator is recorded to indicate areas of student performance/progress and identify continuing learning needs and strategies by which to achieve them.All students and practice educators receive a half way visit (undertaken face to face or via telephone) by a nominated visiting tutor from the university. The aim of this is to review progress against the learning contract and specified criteria and to clarify strategies to facilitate achievement and grading. A report is produced following this meeting and retained by the student for reference throughout the remainder of the placement.At the end of each placement the student receives a written report under the four key headings of the assessment criteria. They also negotiate their future learning needs to carry forward to the next placement. These learning needs are reviewed in a pre-placement workshop for the following placement and students discuss strategies by which they can achieve them.
The initiative operates:
across a programme
Contact:
Deb Hearle
Email:
HearleD@Cardiff.ac.uk

 

Practice Education – Feedback mechanisms for Practice Educators (SOHCS)
Practice educators are provided with guidelines on how to complete the final assessment report which clearly indicate the grading criteria and how to ensure their comments reflect the grade awarded. New / inexperienced practice educators are offered the opportunity to send their draft final report to a member of the practice education team or visiting tutor for feedback prior to discussing it with the student.Two days after the student has received their report they are required to produce a student evaluation of the placement for the practice educator.The Practice Educator recommends a grade for the student. This is moderated within the University by the practice education team for Wales (internal and external staff) and ratified by the external examiners. The educator is then informed by letter whether their recommended grade has been approved and contact details are given for further feedback.
The initiative operates:
across a programme
Contact:
Deb Hearle
Email:
HearleD@Cardiff.ac.uk

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