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Assessment and feedback: how to get more with less

Title: Assessment and feedback: how to get more with less
Date/time: Friday 29 Jan 2010. Session: 11am - 4pm, (my own slot: 1:50 - 3pm).
Occasion: Rethinking Assessment Practice Around Feedback (An HEA event at RGU)
Place: Faculty of Health and Social Care building, Garthdee Campus, Robert Gordon University
How to get there: Instructions
Presenter Steve Draper,   Department of Psychology,   University of Glasgow.

Slides: PDF
Handout: PDF file


A new argument is emerging that threatens many of our beliefs about assessment and feedback. One anomaly is that a department that came nearly top of the NSS ratings for overall course satisfaction came nearly bottom on feedback. Either feedback doesn't matter to learning after all, or targeting it may be far more important than its average quantity and quality.

This workshop will present the major steps in the argument, debating each separately with the audience: feedforward is more use than feedback, feedback is more important for procedural skills than for declarative (conceptual) knowledge, the most important kind of skill is that associated with operationalising underlying assessment criteria (the threshold concepts that actually matter). If each step, plus their combination, stand up to that scrutiny, then the conclusion offered will be that focussing staff feedback to students on a few core disciplinary assessment criteria can bring outstanding results even when combined with complete neglect (as regards feedback) of three quarters of the programme (as measured by credits). Obviously feedback fundamentalists should not attend, as there may be strong blasphemy from the outset.

In order to book online and obtain further information about the event, please visit Otherwise contact Robert Jenkin at

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