Feedback: tips for lecturers

Feedback guidelines for lecturers (printed version)

On this webpage the online version of the tips for feedback are listed, links to other platforms such as 'Educational tips' and 'Ufora' are included.

How to organise feedback? Some practical tips...

Letting the student know what learning objectives an assignment aims to achieve and what final competences it focuses on.

  • When introducing an assignment, make a good habit out of making explicit which learning goals it is aimed at. This can be done in the pdf where you explain the assignment or when you create a new assignment in Ufora under 'Instructions'.

Sharing with your students why you chose this assignment and which arguments made you do so. When you also allow interaction on this, the students can further improve your assessments, which works to your mutual advantage.

  • Preferably do this in the context of a contact moment.

Allowing the student to learn from the mistakes of anonymous fellow students - that way, moreover, these have not been in vain. Thanks to collective feedback, the smallest effort quickly generates a hundredfold effect.

  • Via ‘Discussions’ in Ufora, you can create a forum that is explicitly intended for asking questions to fellow students. By making the forum anonymous, you lower the threshold for students in large groups to actually use it. In smaller groups and higher years, this anonymity is no longer desirable. When you provide a forum like this, explicitly point out this platform and the accompanying anonymity settings to your students. (Link to manual Ufora, see part VIII Discussions)
  • Via ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ in Ufora you can list the questions and corresponding answers you have received most often in a previous assignment or you expect to be asked frequently. You can use this functionality for both practical and substantive questions. When going through the assignment, explicitly refer your students to this Ufora functionality, so that they first check whether their question has already been answered here before contacting you in person. (Link to manual Ufora, see part XVII.3 FAQ)

Getting the student to reflect through an impersonal self-test makes the learning process all the more personal. Automated feedback allows for rapid feedback and, here too, a limited effort creates a big effect.

  • Through ‘Tests’ in Ufora you can also offer tests that are not included in the grades. If you add an extra question to your question library when creating such a test, then under 'General feedback' you can enter what you want to appear automatically after submitting the test. With question types like 'Multiple-choice' you can also provide specific feedback for each answer option through 'Options'. Attention: students have to submit the complete test before the feedback appears, which is not very user-friendly for self-tests. (Link to manual Ufora, see part X Quizzes)
  • Through 'Self-assessments' in Ufora (accessible via 'Course management' in the title bar) you can offer questions from the same question library in a self-assessment. Please note: unlike the 'Tests' functionality, a 'Self-assessment' does not register a grade, so you cannot see how the students perform on that self-assessment.
  • Alternatively, for the time being, you can also use Curios for this and offer the corresponding test via Ufora. (LINK)

Have students assess each other on the ongoing process, based on criteria that you yourself provide via a rubric. Peer assessment makes evolutions visible, but it should be applied several times in order for students to get really familiar with it.

  • In Ufora you can use 'PeerScholar' for this. The groups you use in Ufora can be transferred automatically to PeerScholar. Conversely, the results of the peer assessment in PeerScholar can be exported automatically to 'Grades' in Ufora. (LINK, information only in Dutch available)

Have students assess each other's preliminary or final product. Through such peer feedback, they also become more aware of the assessment criteria.

  • In Ufora you can use 'PeerScholar' for this. Using the peer review option, you can, for example, have students review each other's papers. It is also possible to let have students give feedback on the feedback they have received. (LINK, information only in Dutch available)
  • 'PeerScholar' can also be used when you want your students to choose a case first (e.g. a specific application of the same concept) and afterwards give feedback on the results of fellow students who worked on the same (or a different) case. (LINK, information only in Dutch available)
  • The groups you use in Ufora can be transferred automatically to PeerScholar. Conversely, the results of the peer assessment in PeerScholar can be exported automatically to 'Grades' in Ufora. (LINK, information only in Dutch available)

Apart from signalling what could be done better, also give the student the opportunity to do better. By providing interim feedback prior to a follow-up assignment, you offer your students the opportunity to start working on it immediately.

  • If you want to provide individual interim feedback, see tip 8 below.
  • If you want to provide collective interim feedback, see tip 3 above.

Giving the student concrete, individual feedback on an online or offline submission. In the case of an online submission, this can be done quickly, systematically and in a wide variety of ways.

  • If you want to offer individual feedback, the 'Assignments' functionality in Ufora has a lot of handy tools that allow you to efficiently provide feedback on the corresponding submissions. You can easily grade each submission using an appropriate rubric. If your students submit a pdf, you can add all sorts of annotations or even audio or video feedback. Depending on the settings you choose, your students can immediately read your feedback. (Link to manual Ufora, see part VII.6 Grade submission)

A student can only work on shortcomings when they are aware of these. It goes without saying that words allow for more nuance than a single number.

  • When the student submits a paper in Ufora, the 'Assignments' functionality offers several options to give more extensive feedback in addition to a numerical score. If the submission is a pdf, for example, you can make useful annotations on it. If (part of) the assignment is not very complex, a rubric can help you prevent typing the same text over and over again. Finally, even audio or video feedback is an option. (Link to manual Ufora, see part VII.6 Grade submission)
  • Feedback does not always have to come from a lecturer either. By having your students assess each other on the basis of a few criteria you provided, students will also become more aware of these assessment criteria. See also tips 5 and 6 about peer feedback and peer assessment.

Making the students aware of the progress they already made. As a lecturer, you can make such an evolution visible by pausing at the next assignment or by encouraging the student to reflect individually.

  • When you provide collective feedback for an assignment, you can quickly visualise such an evolution by also indicating what progress you notice in comparison with previous assignments. For example, you can mention which feedback you had to give earlier on but is now no longer an issue. This is perfectly possible in a contact moment or via 'Announcements' in Ufora.
  • In an announcement you can explicitly refer to the 'Grades' functionality where students can see all the feedback on the various assignments. This way you encourage students to reflect on their own work individually. By including the following URL as a hyperlink in your announcement, you can lead your students directly to their respective grade overview: "https://ufora.ugent.be/d2l/lms/grades/my_grades/main.d2l?ou=______" (where after the equality sign you add instead of underscores the 6 digits that also appear at the end of the URL of the Ufora course at hand). Alternatively, you can explicitly ask for such a reflection in the context of a subsequent assignment.