FeedBack to FeedForward

A Session on Effectively Using Feedback

The Expereincing Sociology Programme ran its third session for first years on Thursday of Week 18 which on the topic of feedback.

Our Sociology majors and combined majors have just received feedback on their first major sociology essay, so we decided to dedicate this session to dealing with, sharing, and learning from feedback.

Jonny Beacham started thes session with some reflection on dealing with feedback – how it can be tempting to not confront feedback head on, or to just treat feedback as an explanation of the mark the piece received rather than as a tool for thinking about how to improve. Jonny gave some great advice which was to treat feedback for what it is, a response to a text, and not a comment on the authors’ abilities in general.

Then Dale Munday, Digital Learning Facilitator in the university, introduced a new initiative and platform for students in Sociology, and a pilot initiative for the university, the Experiencing Sociology Digital Feedback Portfolio. The portfolio, hosted on Microsoft OneNote gives our students a platform to store, access, easily view, and share with their tutors, all of the feedback that they have received throughout their degree. Dale explained to our students that learning from feedback depends on being able to identify patterns and trends in work produced and to be able to highlight common areas for improvement across modules, subjects, and topics.

The sessions was based in the computer labs. Students downloaded their feedback, added it to the portfolio, and then, in what was a first for many, shared their feedback with their peers to draw out what they thought were the most significant strengths and weaknesses of that particular piece of work.

Joanne Wood, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences’ Learning Development Tutor then helped to collect common issues and talked to students about where in the department, faculty and the university they could go to get further support to develop their work in particular areas.

We finished off the session with another social – this time with a catch-up and a coffee in County Bar!

The next ESP session will be Thursday of Week 23, where we will run the employability session – ‘What can you do with a Sociology degree anyway?’ and follow it with a pizza social!