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Closing the loop 21st century style : providing feedback on written assessment via MP3 recordings

Butler, Desmond A. (2011) Closing the loop 21st century style : providing feedback on written assessment via MP3 recordings. Journal of Australasian Law Teachers Association, 4(1&2), pp. 99-107.

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Abstract

Feedback on student performance, whether in the classroom or on written assignments, enables them to reflect on their understandings and restructure their thinking in order to develop more powerful ideas and capabilities. Research has identified a number of broad principles of good feedback practice. These include the provision of feedback that facilitates the development of reflection in learning; helps clarify what good performance is in terms of goals, criteria and expected standards; provides opportunities to close the gap between current and desired performance; delivers high quality information to students about their learning; and encourages positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem. However, high staff–student ratios and time pressures often result in a gulf between this ideal and reality. Whilst greater use of criteria referenced assessment has enabled an improvement in the extent of feedback being provided to students, this measure alone does not go far enough to satisfy the requirements of good feedback practice.

Technology offers an effective and efficient means by which personalised feedback may be provided to students. This paper presents the findings of a trial of the use of the freely available Audacity program to provide individual feedback via MP3 recordings to final year Media Law students at the Queensland University of Technology on their written assignments. The trial has yielded wide acclaim by students as an effective means of explaining the exact reasons why they received the marks they were awarded, the things they did well and the areas needing improvement. It also showed that good feedback practice can be achieved without the burden of an increase in staff workload.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 47984
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional URLs:
Keywords: oral feedback, technology, mp3 recording, audio recording, HERN
ISSN: 1836-5620
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Higher Education (130103)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Law not elsewhere classified (180199)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Law and Justice Research Centre
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Australasian Law Teachers Association
Copyright Statement: This Journal is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission from the Editor-in-Chief.
Deposited On: 10 Jan 2012 08:10
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2012 03:05

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