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Developing student use of feedback on their marked TMAs

  • Project leader(s): Carol CalvertClare Morris
  • Theme: Supporting students
  • Faculty: STEM
  • Status: Archived
  • Dates: April 2021 to September 2022

The correspondence tuition that tutors provide, via the TMAs, is a key part of our teaching and support to students and represents a major investment of time and effort by tutors. Around 10%-15% of marked TMA scripts are not picked up by undergraduate students across STEM (the exact figure varies between modules) and the figure is slightly less across the undergraduate programme as a whole across the university.  Considerations of rates of pickup by students could form a standard part of regular module reviews.

This project was divided into four main threads:

  • Background information about TMA collection across the university.
  • Views from students on four modules using a common, anonymous questionnaire.
  • A series of activities with Associate lecturers (tutors) about the level of non-pickup by students and strategies to encourage pickup.
  • Creation of material to encourage students to collect and make use of their TMA feedback.

Students on two statistics modules and two economics modules were involved in the project: level 1 modules M140 and DD126 and level 2 modules M248 and DD209.

Students value generic comments such as ‘Make sure you do exactly what the question is asking’, while they are irritated by repetition on the covering document (PT3) of comments already made on the script.  If the PT3/script separation is to be retained under the new marking system (WISEFLOW), greater clarity is needed as to the roles of the two elements. 

Training for new tutors needs to make even clearer the importance to students of encouragement and positive reinforcement – the fact that TMA marking is a form of teaching cannot be too strongly emphasised. 

Completely generic, ‘advice to students from students’ material which we have prepared as part of this project, might be more widely adopted by other modules than the four we have targeted.

Related Resources: 
PDF icon Carol Calvert and Clare Morris, TMA feedback. eSTEeM Final Report.pdf932.37 KB

eSTEeM final report.

File Calvert & Morris.pptx313.43 KB

Project poster