Here at Newcastle University, we welcome and value feedback from our students.
Providing us with feedback about your degree programme helps us adapt our teaching to make sure we provide you with the very best university experience.
In this blog post, we’ve shared some examples of the work being done to hear your voice about assessment and feedback within the School of Biomedical, Nutritional and Sport Sciences.
In the School of Biomedical, Nutritional and Sport Sciences we have started to host live, interactive, course evaluations to encourage all of our returning students (that’s about 1000!) to use this friendly, in-person opportunity to share their opinions with the programme teams and highlight any concerns or goals they have for the year ahead.
In our latest course evaluation (September 2021), many of our students told us that they wanted to see more examples of good assessment answers and to see clearly in their feedback how they can improve their work. Hearing this request, we’ve uploaded additional model examples onto Canvas and have created a digital ‘3 things’ feedback form, which markers personalise with 3 things our students have done well in the assessment and 3 things to improve.
Our students also told us during the course evaluations that they wanted extra support to understand and apply previous feedback advice for their next assessments, particularly on lab reports. We were able to respond quickly to this request and hosted drop-in feedback clinics that focused on good practice in lab report writing within two weeks of students asking for this help.
Your assessment is an important factor in your university experience, so we are dedicated to hearing your concerns and adapting our programmes to make sure you are confident and comfortable when it comes to your work.
Your course representatives are here to ensure there is good communication between staff and students in the school, making sure that what is going well and what needs to be acted upon for assessment and feedback is heard on a regular basis.
Here in the School of Biomedical, Nutritional and Sport Sciences, every programme has a dedicated representative who acts as a lead in our student-staff committees. Our course representatives recently helped us understand that our students not only wanted more opportunities to write essays, but they also wanted a more organised way to discuss feedback with markers. Responding to this feedback, we’ve added additional formative essay writing sessions with supportive in-person and online training materials to all programmes in the school and increased the number of module and assessment feedback sessions so that every student can access individual and group-based support to help them understand how to feedforward their feedback.
Our reps also told us how our termly ‘Town Hall’ events made them feel valued and included as partners in their programmes, especially when it came to what “best feedback practice” looked like to them. So with their help we now invite all students to these events to gather as many views as we can and to ensure everyone can gain from this positive experience.
We know how important it is to feel represented, so in the School of Biomedical, Nutritional and Sport Sciences, we also have Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) representatives in addition to our programme reps who help us to consider the needs of our diverse student community.
For example, the EDI reps highlighted that for some of our students with part-time work or carer commitments, a more regular timetable would be appreciated to support their workload planning needs. To help with this, we’ve set up a working group with students and staff to review our timetabling including submission dates to make sure that learning and assessment is accessible for all our student communities.
We encourage our reps to reach out to students through a variety of means such as TEAMS, email, Canvas and much more, so there’s always a convenient and comfortable way you can speak to them ensuring all student voices are heard.