Conference time: -
Effective feedback to 550 students

"A Case Study of Online Collaborative Work in a Large First Year Psychology Class"
Dr. Jim Baxter, University of Strathclyde, UK

Expert facilitator: Prof Derek Rowntree - folder icon Download review

Please download the author's case study text by clicking the link below.

folder icon Read the Baxter case study (Download will open in new window)

Overview: Basic Psychology at Strathclyde University is currently the largest psychology class in the UK. The student roll has in some years totalled 610 students and has never fallen below 520 students in the last 12 years.

Although successful in terms of student enthusiasm and engagement with the lecture course, one persistent problem with the class was that more material was presented in lectures than was referred to by the majority of students in their examination answers. This imbalance was, of course, the reverse of what should be the case when students take responsibility for their learning. Another difficulty was that no system of early assessment - summative or formative - was available to Basic Psychology students. Setting conventional essays was not practicable given the size of the class with the result that students got no feedback on their performance in each semester except for multiple choice class tests held in December and April. This paper presents details of an initiative designed to provide early and regular formative assessment opportunities to this large class. An example of the scheme working is presented and students’ ratings of the scheme are reported and discussed.

Session details

A chat session was held here with the Author and Expert Facilitator on the 29th May from 11:00 - 12:00 UK time (BST). You may view a transcript of this chat from the link below.

folder icon Chat transcript - Effective Feedback to 550 Students

The discussion forum will be open throughout the conference, and can be accessed through the 'Join the discussion' link below.


Join the Discussion

Use the 'Join the Discussion' link to view all the posts for this session. As a taster, below are the last 5 posts for this session's discussion fora.

RE: Assessing first year learning MaryPWelsh | 31/05/2007 22:46
MaryPWelshI can endorse Jim's view of the success of collaborative learning. The arithmetic mean score of the written part of oue BEd 1 Educational Studies Exam rose from 59% in 2006 to 70% in 2007! In an end of crse questionnaire 72% of students "Agreed" or "...
RE: Facilitator's FINAL thoughts! Jim Baxter | 31/05/2007 15:00
Jim BaxterThanks Derek for all your help in mangaging and contributing to this discussion, and my thanks to all who contributed, or just read.Final news is that the fail rate this year was 5%, down from 13% last year. BUT - we did disqualify quite a few studen...
Facilitator's FINAL thoughts! DerekRowntree | 31/05/2007 14:51
DerekRowntree Many thanks, Jim, for sharing your experience with us and dealing so patiently and helpfully with all the questions and issues we wanted to raise with you. Thank you also to everyone who helped fuel the discussion both in this topic and in Assessin...
RE: Assessing first year learning DerekRowntree | 31/05/2007 14:40
DerekRowntreeWell done, Jim; truly encouraging. Very best wishes for the next run of the course.
RE: Assessing first year learning CatherineOwen | 31/05/2007 13:56
CatherineOwenGreat news Jim - I look forward to hearing more.