Training sessional academic staff to provide quality feedback on university studentsí assessment: Lessons from a Faculty of Law learning and teaching project
Richards, K and Bell, T and Dwyer, AE, Training sessional academic staff to provide quality feedback on university students' assessment: Lessons from a Faculty of Law learning and teaching project, Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 65, (1) pp. 25-34. ISSN 0737-7363 (2017) [Refereed Article]
The quality of feedback provided to university students has long been recognised as the most important predictor of student learning and satisfaction. However, providing quality feedback to students is challenging in the current context, in which universities increasingly rely on casualised and inexperienced academic staff to assess undergraduate work. Ensuring that these staff are suitably equipped to provide quality feedback to students is vital if student learning and satisfaction goals are to be met. This article reports on a learning and teaching project undertaken in the School of Justice (Faculty of Law) at Queensland University of Technology, which sought to address this issue. The project involved delivering an evidence-based training workshop to all casual academic staff in the School, on how to provide quality constructive feedback to students. Results from online surveys of sessional staff (n = 9) and a sample of undergraduate students (n = 141) are presented in this article. Findings suggest that on the whole, staff felt better equipped to provide constructive feedback to students following the workshop, and students perceived an improvement in the feedback they received. We conclude that such training can create a modest improvement in the provision of feedback to students.