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    Providing students with formative audio feedback

    Brearley, FQ and Rod Cullen, W (2012) Providing students with formative audio feedback. Bioscience Education, 20 (1). pp. 22-36.

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    The provision of timely and constructive feedback is increasingly challenging for busy academics. Ensuring effective student engagement with feedback is equally difficult. Increasingly, studies have explored provision of audio recorded feedback to enhance effectiveness and engagement with feedback. Few, if any, of these focus on purely formative audio feedback on draft submissions of written assignments. This study encouraged a cohort of 40 students to submit drafts of written assignments, two weeks before formal submission, in order to receive audio recorded feedback. Nearly half the cohort either did not submit drafts or submitted only brief outlines. The level of draft completeness impacted on the characteristics of the lecturer's feedback. While students receiving audio feedback gained significantly higher marks for finished work, this cannot be directly attributed to receipt/use of feedback as analysis suggests generally more able students are more likely to submit more complete drafts, which leads us to ask the question, are we simply helping better students to perform even better? Audio feedback was reported as clear, engaging and helpful; however, timing of feedback (before formal submission) may be of greater importance in terms of impact on attainment than the audio format. We suggest a model that focuses efforts on formative feedback (in advance of formal submission) and selective provision of summative feedback (targeted feed forward). © 2013 G. Scott, The Higher Education Academy.

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