Title: Helping feedback-givers to improve their feedback

Authors: Duenpen Kochakornjarupong, Paul Brna

Addresses: Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Science, Thaksin University, Phatthalung Campus, 222 Moo 2, Banprao Sub-District, Papayorm District, Phatthalung, 93110, Thailand. ' School of Informatics, The University of Edinburgh, 10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh EH8 9LJ, Scotland, UK

Abstract: Improving the effectiveness of eAssessment depends on the knowledge and experience of feedback-givers. This paper describes an indirect approach to improving feedback for learners – training the feedback-giver while actually preparing the feedback for the learners. Specifically, the aim is to help inexperienced teaching assistants (TAs) who lack training in how to provide quality feedback. The approach emphasises the ways in which feedback is organised through the use of feedback patterns. There is evidence that students in higher education, like adult learners, require improved feedback to make their learning more efficient. McFeSPA (metacognitive feedback scaffolding system for pedagogical apprenticeship) was designed and implemented as efeedback to help improve the TAs| feedback skills while marking programming assignments – and then evaluated to determine whether TAs could benefit from automated feedback. The evaluation involves examining the system with scaffolding turned off to help three TAs give feedback to a group of students and scaffolding turned on for three TAs using the full system. The results are broadly favourable.

Keywords: assessment support; adult learning; situated learning; feedback-givers; feedback improvement; eAssessment; e-assessment; electronic assessment; effectiveness; learners; teaching assistants; training; feedback patterns; student support; higher education; universities; McFeSPA; metacognitive feedback; scaffolding systems; pedagogical apprenticeships; pedagogy; feedback skills; assignment marking; programming assignments; automated feedback; continuing education; engineering education; life-long learning; electronic feedback; e-feedback.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2010.036813

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2010 Vol.20 No.2, pp.148 - 168

Available online: 09 Nov 2010 *

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