Sustainable feedback and programme evaluation: conversations with professional Masters students

Constable, Hilary (2022) Sustainable feedback and programme evaluation: conversations with professional Masters students. In: Assessment in Higher Education (AHE) Conference, 22-24 June 2022, Manchester, UK. (Unpublished)

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We have been asking participants how their reading, writing, speaking and listening have developed on their parttime professional Master’s programme and how this has influenced their professional lives. We have been doing this to improve programme evaluation by probing the language of feedback and learning. Using dialogic feedback has generated an efficient and purposeful form of evaluation. Language is significant. In UK universities the qualifications framework (QAA, 2014) provides institutional language to describe what students are to learn. As tutors it is important to find out what will help students get a feel for the academic actions and moves embedded in these statements. In pursuing the (eternal) challenge of ‘finding out where the learners were’ we wanted to get at some of the self-talk that these Masters students used. We stepped aside from using our tutor written, university endorsed learning outcomes and asked participants how they would describe their own progress. An online survey, with an alternative of on-line video interview, let students report on how their reading, writing, speaking and listening had developed through the programme. The questions were twofold: how had students skills developed on the programme AND in what ways this had helped their professional practice. We were aware that students might answer in terms that spoke to their knowledge of us as tutors or evaluators, nevertheless we found students own words pointed the way to identifying what we may have previously disregarded and quickly generated ideas for programme development such as the actual use of the induction material. Students in our study did not limit themselves to a narrow view of academic literacies (Lea & Street 2007). Our findings revealed a wider range than expected of influence of study on professional life, including intriguing terms such as ‘nerdy conversation’. The work is framed by assessment debates, in particular dialogue and sustainability (Boud, 2015; Carless et al 2011; Tai et al 2018). The issue of the influence of a programme on professional development is wider and involves graduate attributes and lifelong learning, a debate with a long and mixed history (Washer 2007) and now seen in the VITAE researcher development framework offering a bridge into professional life. We found that the terms reading/writing/speaking/listening), distinct from university and quality assurance expressions of attainment, lent themselves to discussions spanning programmes and timescales and that alternatives of questionnaire and interview suited students.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Departments: Institute of Education > Initial Teacher Education
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2023 09:31
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 13:32


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