Towards Enhanced Feedback Practices in a Virtual Environment


Occasion: Sixth International Blended Learning Conference, 2011
Presenter: Peter Mellett
Abstract: “The context of this study is an M-level distance learning programme in International Construction Management. EPSRC funding in 2006 facilitated conversion from a traditional paper-based delivery into a blended-learning format. However, while study content and educational processes changed radically, assessment did not evolve in parallel fashion. Speaking largely from within their online ‘collaborative communities of practice’, students expressed concerns about clarity and consistency of feedback in relation to (opaque) assessment criteria, also noting that assessment offered inadequate opportunities for demonstrating the full extent of their new learning.”

Learning Objectives

  • Explore tips and techniques that are transferable to blended and online distance learning at Birmingham

Key Ideas

  • The evolution of a programme of study and the interwoven strands that influence student learning
  • A tutor questionnaire across modules (individual, external? tutors being responsible for each module) – a common framework to start from?
  • Students have a wide variety of assessments over the modules, but as is common each activity is not defined adequately and the distinctions between them made clear. There is also the challenge of common understanding of the action verbs used to frame assessments.
  • It is clear that we don’t often look at a problem holistically in terms of assessment types and performance required. This should be part of a 5 year review process as has been done here:
  • Importance of tutor training and processes has been highlighted.

Action Plan

  • Explore local practice, especially related to review processes

Full paper:$FILE/IBLC%20Proceedings%202011.pdf


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