Leeds Building Capacity Project animated roadmap

Leeds Building Capacity Project animated roadmap


Welcome to the University of Leeds Building
Capacity Project funded by JISC. This illustrated toolkit or roadmap is one
of the project’s outputs and it demonstrates a recent ‘learning journey’ related to
a university strategic priority. A key strand of the Leeds Building Capacity project is
how we draw on current external JISC-funded projects to address the priority of improving
effective feedback to our students. This project aims to achieve this through the use of technologies. So on this journey what did we do? Well at
the outset we asked some questions: * How can technologies support timely and
effective feedback for students? * Should we have different forms of feedback
for different kinds of assessment * Are some technologies contributing to enhancement
or are they additional to existing feedback practices? In using audio and video technologies for
example, we were also thinking about: * Our teaching and learning styles
* The need to distinguish between assessment and feedback as a measurement of achievement
– that is, the difference between feedback that accompanies a mark and feedback or ‘feed-forward’
given formatively as a qualitative part of the assessment process.
* And finally is written feedback which is still privileged over other forms, fitting
for all students? Could technologies provide other more suitable forms of feedback? The next stage was to ‘explore’ the extensive
JISC database for projects using audio and video technologies in providing effective
feedback. We selected six projects we thought might be appropriate for the Leeds context. Then we sought advice and endorsement from
JISC on the adoption of the outputs from these chosen projects. At this point we recognised
the importance of a web presence for LBC and began building a website to highlight both
the external projects and later on our own Leeds-based feedback projects. Do have a look
at what we have done so far: www.sddu.leeds.ac.uk/lbc. The next stage of the journey was to raise
awareness and stimulate interest among our academic and support staff in the use of these
technologies. To do this we organised an event called Effective Feedback Week – showcasing
3 JISC projects; ending the event with a roundtable discussion to synthesise all the learning
from the featured JISC projects. To initiate our discussions 3 rapporteurs provided overviews
each one. Here is a snapshot of each of those project
presentations which can be seen in full on the LBC website. Click on the video clip for
a short introduction to each project. Firstly, I-Chant Chang from the Psychology
department at the University of Aberystwyth describes the AFAL project; a comparison of
three different kinds of audio and video feedback to students. Secondly, Will Stewart from the University
of Bradford describes the ASEL project in collaboration with the University of Hertfordshire;
focusing just on audio feedback across a range of disciplines. And thirdly, Julian Park from the University
of Reading and Steve Maw from UK Centre for Biosciences here at Leeds present the ASSET
project, which included both Reading and Plymouth Universities. ASSET highlights the benefits
of audio/video ‘feed forward’ – helpful information to prepare students for their
assessments early on in the assessment lifecycle prior to submission and also importantly rapid,
generic feedback to students immediately after students submit their work. From the showcases, the roundtable discussion
enabled us to reflect on our own practice on the use and benefits of audio/video technologies
in enhancing feedback. It is really important to emphasise that this was not about a simple
‘cut’ and ‘paste’ from the JISC projects but to use the outputs and outcomes as a catalyst
for developing our own ideas fitting for our varied disciplinary contexts. In summary the following advantages were highlighted
in our discussion; * Using audio and video technologies is an
effective way to keep students ‘warm’ and engaged in the assessment and feedback
process * That more feedback is possible in speaking
than writing * The student’s piece of work becomes the
centre of staff and students’ attention * And it is personalised
* Also this form of feedback can be easily stored and kept for posterity
* Students can write notes from audio or video feedback to reinforce learning
* It can create the beginnings of a dialogue about feedback and learning between staff
and students * And it can be applied across a range of
assessments particularly those that are practice-based We noted some particular challenges for both
staff and students: * Being able to access and have time to learn
appropriate technologies * Having time to produce and make accessible
this form of feedback to students –easier to do this with a group than one to one
* How the student voice could be included in creating a feedback dialogue
* And how to disseminate examples effectively across faculties
* How would this form of feedback be viewed for audit purposes – for example in the
appeals process * What about storage? The size of video files
if using voice tools compared to audio files or more traditional forms of feedback
* University infrastructures and software to support technologies and their costs? Further challenges were observed:
* Anonymous marking – how might this be managed? * Being so personalised – with audio is
this a problem for a student to have a tutor in your ear?! And also with
* Staff video recording their feedback for public access – might there be resistance? The group discussion concluded with ideas
for further development * Rapid generic feedback is particularly valuable
when large groups of students are undertaking the same assessment. Generic feedback following
examinations could work well too * The importance of using the student voice
in providing feedback on certain assessments for following cohorts of students to learn
from. * Staff could demonstrate via audio and video
how modules and assessments had changed based on feedback from students
* Students could also produce video clips of their own linking up their feedback across
a number of assessments to synthesise their learning
* Why not adopt technologies already familiar to students for example, the use of video
* Using technologies for feedback also can emphasise to students where feedback occurs
in the assessment cycle – not just associated with a summative mark
* Further advantages were seen in the relative economies of pocket video cameras compared
to more expensive technologies, such as tablets and voice recognition software Some key action points then emerged:
* Develop ‘easy-to-use’ guides for staff and students
* Pilot use of digital video cameras for generic, ‘fast feed-forward’
* Explore a university system for recording and storage
* Develop appropriate infrastructures for support
* Lastly, recruit ‘Champions’ to adopt direct examples of audio/video feedback as
pilots and also demonstrate good practice In achieving our aims we now have ten effective
feedback projects running across the university; all inspired by the outputs and outcomes of
the JISC projects. These will be available on the LBC website over the coming academic
year 2011/12 and the project leaders championing this initiative will be disseminating their
project outcomes at the Leeds Learning and Teaching Conference, through the Leeds Student
Education Bulletin and other internal and external events. Although ventures of this kind are inevitably
ongoing and open-ended, it is clear that although there are challenges in using audio and video
technologies to improve feedback to students, the innovative work within selected JISC-funded
projects has been a catalyst to inspire us with ideas for our own projects and enhancing
our own practice. In so doing, this initiative contributes to providing an exceptional student
experience here at Leeds. Definitely not the end!
We acknowledge JISC’s significant contribution to this roadmap. Misung An, Dr Dragos Ciobanu, Dr Karen Llewellyn
and Dr Vanessa Walker University of Leeds May 2011