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Associate lecturer and student views of Science Faculty feedback processes

  • Project leader(s): Sally JordanSarah AllmanClaire Rostron
  • Theme: Innovative assessment
  • Faculty: STEM
  • Status: Archived
  • Dates: January 2014 to October 2014

This project was funded by the OU's Study Experience Programme New Models of Assessment and Tuition Project.

The work builds on the Formative Assessment in Science Teaching Project ( and Mirabelle Walker’s COLMSCT Project ‘Improved learning through improved feedback on TMAs’ (, in the light of recent changes to Science Faculty assessment practice and findings from the eSTEeM Project ‘Thresholded assessment: Does it work?’ ( One of this project’s findings was that many students have a very poor understanding of the nature and purpose of assessment.

The current work comprises two sub-projects, grouped together for convenience, with overlapping goals and shared outcomes. The project will seek to identify student and associate lecturer (AL) views of our current feedback processes, in the light of changes in Science Faculty assessment practice including the introduction of formative thresholded assessment and assessment commentaries. We will target students and associate lecturers on carefully selected modules, chosen because of the breadth of level, curriculum area, and marking and feedback style that they represent. One of the modules has summative continuous assessment whilst the other modules have formative thresholded continuous assessment.

Project A (student focus) will be led by Sarah Allman, assisted by Pam Budd. Questionnaires will be sent to a sample of students on two contrasting modules, followed by recorded synchronous online focus group discussions.

Project B (AL focus) will be led by Claire Rostron, assisted by Nicola McIntyre. Questionnaires will be sent to the ALs on each of the four modules involved in the project. AL consultants will then run recorded synchronous online focus group discussions, with mixed-module groups of ALs.

Planned outcomes:

  1. We will identify good practice, for circulation to module teams and to ALs via staff tutors, module teams and separately-funded staff development meetings.
  2. We will make recommendations for advice to students (perhaps in the form of a podcast) on how to make use of TMA feedback.