The Handbook for Economics Lecturers

3.4.3 Encouraging students to think about how they should respond to feedback

This final assessment activity uses peer discussion to help students think about the most effective ways of responding to feedback. The activity works as follows:

  • Students are asked to bring copies of their coursework with feedback to a workshop.
  • They are placed in small groups and asked to explain/discuss what feedback they have received. They should also read the feedback on other students work.
  • They are allocated to small groups and asked to discuss what they believe the feedback means on both their own work and that of their peers. They are told to identify their own and the other students’ key strengths and weaknesses. They should also discuss how the feedback could be used to help improve performance in future assignments.

A key part of the discussion could be based around how the student intends to work on improving any weaknesses. The student could be asked to develop an action plan which outlines how they will respond. The appropriate action will depend on the nature of the weakness identified. For example one prompt would be to ask if the feedback refers to any weaknesses or gaps in their understanding and application of economics. If this is the case they could be asked what they think is the most appropriate action. Are they simply going to look at the same textbook/material again or are they going to try and find alternative sources that explain the same principles but maybe in a way they can better understand? Have they thought about making an appointment with the lecturer to discuss the issue or have they considered discussing it with friends on the course. Another prompt would be to ask if some of the weaknesses are more generic in nature and relate to study skills. For example if the comments specify that academic writing skills are poor what could the student do about it? Where could they go for help? Are there any student support centres in the university where they can get help?