The Handbook for Economics Lecturers

3.4 Encouraging students to engage with feedback

The use of exemplars and self-assessment sheets are activities which are designed to help the students engage with and understand the assessment criteria. In the process they should become better prepared to receive feedback on their work. However there is still no guarantee that they will engage with and use the feedback. As previously discussed they may not fully appreciate the potential benefits to their learning. Perhaps there is an element of hyperbolic discounting: they keep meaning to read the feedback the next day. Unfortunately when the next day arrives they delay it again! This process continues with the student never looking at the feedback. Perhaps some assessment activities could be introduced which magnify the potential benefits and incentives of using the feedback. This could be within and across assignments. Also in some instances the feedback may have been read and understood and its full value appreciated. However the student still fails to improve because they simply do not know how to respond to the feedback. The following section will outline and assess some potential methods of dealing with some of these issues. They include:

  • The use of ‘draft assignments’ to increase the incentives to use feedback within an assignment. A detailed case study is included which outlines and evaluates the introduction of a peer review process of draft assignments on an economics programme.
  • The use of ‘pro formas’ and ‘assessments’ to increase the incentives to use feedback across different assignments.
  • The use of ‘peer group discussions’ to help students consider the best way of responding to the feedback.