Supporting and enhancing student agency in feedback processes: using a novel feedback tool in the creative industries
Cochrane, Ruth; Firth, Richard
This paper focuses on students’ use of a novel programme-focused feedback tool we have developed and utilised across Product Design at Edinburgh Napier University. In the context of the creative industries feedback needs to become a shared responsibility, as learners typically undertake challenging and authentic design tasks and briefs, and routinely work towards a diverse and rich mix of creative assessment outputs as the basis for their ongoing learning and development (Orr and Shreeve, 2018). In practice this means that staff and students engage regularly in dialogue around studio-based work-in-progress across a given module. So rather than feedback being conceptualised as a tutor-dispensed episodic mechanism, feedback is embedded throughout in the studio-based learning milieu (Boud and Molloy, 2013). From this perspective, our feedback processes encompass ongoing personalised conversations around the quality of the work being produced in readiness for summative assessment and learners’ future professional lives. This process seeks to engage students proactively in meaningful feedback dialogues (Carless, Salter, Yang and Lamb, 2011), helping them, importantly, to get to grips with the tacit assumptions underpinning the discipline and to better understand fruitful next steps.
To ‘anchor’ this diverse flow of tutor, peer, and self-generated formative feedback, we have developed an approach which involves the use of a stamp that can be used frequently as the basis for stimulating and recording this purposeful review and discussion (Firth, Cochrane et al, 2017). It is used on student sketchbooks presentation boards and 3-D prototype models, and comprises five axes, covering the essential elements of the design process. The visual build-up of the stamp’s presence, with annotations, during the documented work-flow helps everyone perceive the links between formative and summative assessments at programme-level, so that feedforward from the former to the latter is clear. Furthermore, the ongoing discussions focus student attention on developing their agency in feedback processes.
The paper will outline how the tool, which has been used over a number of years, supports students to develop their evaluative judgement (Tai et al, 2018) in the context of the creative industries.
Themes from student interviews conducted by an independent researcher will be presented.
The discussion section of the paper will enable delegates to discuss potential transferability of this novel approach to their own local context and disciplines.
Boud, D. & Molloy, E., 2013. Rethinking models of feedback for learning: the challenge of design. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 38(6), pp.698–712.
Carless, D. et al., 2011. Developing sustainable feedback practices. Studies in Higher Education, 36(4), pp.395–407.
Firth et al. (2017) Using a simple feedback stamp to provide incremental feedback on work-in-progress in the art design process, Edinburgh Napier, DLTE Quick Guide series. Available at https://staff.napier.ac.uk/services/dlte/Pages/QuickGuides.aspx
Orr, S. & Shreeve, A., 2018. Art and design pedagogy in higher education: knowledge, values and ambiguity in the creative curriculum, London, [England] ; New York, New York: Routledge.
Tai, J. et al., 2018. Developing evaluative judgement: enabling students to make decisions about the quality of work. Higher Education, 76(3), pp.467–481.
Cochrane, R., & Firth, R. (2021, June). Supporting and enhancing student agency in feedback processes: using a novel feedback tool in the creative industries. Paper presented at Assessment in Higher Education (AHE) Conference 2020, Manchester
|Presentation Conference Type||Conference Paper (unpublished)|
|Conference Name||Assessment in Higher Education (AHE) Conference 2020|
|Start Date||Jun 30, 2021|
|End Date||Jul 2, 2021|
|Deposit Date||Apr 28, 2020|
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