Friday, 11 April 2014

Not sure what to do with your feedback? Here are our students' top tips!

Keep an open mind!
  • Don't be offended if someone disagrees or picks at what you have done as it will enable to produce better work in the future. 
  •  Use it as a guide in future work to improve your writing style and content rather than just viewing it as criticism. 
  • Really look through it properly, take it as constructive criticism and not just criticism :) because at the end of the day we're all still developing and learning.
  • Don't take it to heart, constructive criticism is the key in any research - you won't always be correct but you can learn from your mistakes.
  • Depends on the feedback but I'd say don't be put off if you only get negative feedback as some markers only focus on what could be improved, rather than giving encouragement.
  • Expect the worst and you may be pleasantly surprised!
 Don’t be too focused on grade alone!
  • You might be tempted to skip straight to the mark at the end of the report, but make sure you understand why you got that mark. Did you do everything that was within your ability and if not, why? Try to be self-critical as well as receiving criticism from your tutors.
  • Don't just look at the grade! And discuss any feedback points so you are sure what the tutor means
Make sure you know what’s on offer
  • Make the most of feedback you get in first year because you don't get many opportunities after that!
  • Make the most of all opportunities and use office hours if you have questions: most staff are very approachable and if you don't ask you'll just continue to worry!
  • Go to office hours. They're very useful and you can ask questions about problems which may or may not have been homework questions.
  • Use the 301 service and see an essay tutor, look online for advice offered by other departments and universities.
  • Book slots early for feedback sessions as they can get booked up quickly.
Seek out other forms of feedback
  • Get your friends to look at your work if the department are not supporting you. It's not a substitute but it is better than nothing.
  • Peer feedback is often useful in terms of your own work and peers to understand different ways of answering a question.
  • I usually discuss it with my parents.
  • Get as much variety as possible, such as from teachers and other students.
  • Take any feedback going as all types of feedback are useful and you can learn from even the smallest of things.
  • Make the most of positive points, seeking help from peers that may have done well in an aspect you need to improve on. 
 Don’t be afraid to seek further advice…
  • If you don't understand the feedback go and ask!
  • If you do not get feedback or not enough detailed feedback, just ask your tutor. In most cases, they will be happy to go through your work with you to point you in the right direction and to show where you lost marks.
  • If you are unsure about what something means, then it is best to clarify it with your tutor to make sure you're getting it right the second time.
  • Always take into account what your tutors say, they are highly experienced and knowledgeable, and know what you need to do to pass each module and the course.
  • If you have questions, ask them. If you don't find your feedback useful, say so.
  • If you don't understand the feedback and still have some queries keep asking until you are satisfied and have a good understanding of the answer!
  • Pester your tutors, supervisors, other academics for feedback. Meet with them. It doesn't even need to be those teaching you or your module but still in your dept. Any will help!
  • Ask for more detail on how to turn criticism into positive change in your next essay.
…but make sure you prepare for meetings!
  • Definitely try and seek all the help you can get from your tutors. Try and have as much done before you seek feedback because it will be more effective.
  • Face to face is the way forward. Don't waste time with general questions. Tutors are far more enthusiastic about helping students they can see they have already pondered things in depth themselves.
 Keep a record of your feedback
  • Write it down, make sure you understand the reasons behind it, and act on it.
  • Really reading it helps, especially if its personal feedback to you. I sometimes write a few bullet points in pencil at the top of my work of previous feedback so i can keep in my mind what needs to be improved.
  • Keep going back to previous pieces of feedback when writing the next piece of work, so as to learn properly from mistakes made.
  • Collate a file of feedback which can be applied to future assignments and look over this on a regular basis.
  • Go back to feedback before and after writing your next assignment (before submitting it) to ensure mistakes have not been repeated.
  • Read it before starting a new assignment to have fresh in your mind what not to do and how to improve.
  • Revisit the feedback along with the piece of work submitted a few weeks after first receiving it, as I find this helps you notice your own mistakes and be more critical of your own work.
  • File the feedback away so you can look at it again when doing your next assignment.
Draw out the important bits!
  • If it's feedback on an individual question, remember that a general rule can often be taken and applied elsewhere.
  • Make a list of bullet points for key things you did well and key things to improve.
  • Don't just read it and put it in a draw, make notes of the positives and the negatives and then work on them.
  • Take note of the improvements that are suggested and implement these changes as soon as you can to demonstrate to your lecturers your ability to grow as a learner.
  • Make a note from feedback sheets and you will see if things are reoccurring so that you can focus on one weakness or a few to improve.  
  • Always keep it and make a note of where to improve on a sheet of paper so you can look at it in future when answering questions.
Make the mistakes in non-assessed work first!
  • My advice would be to submit specimen questions to module staff as they are always helpful and provide constructive feedback on your approach to exams! 
  • Submit drafts (if you can) to your tutor/whoever is marking your work, then take on board their comments.
  • SEND COMPLETED SPECIMEN QUESTIONS/ANSWERS TO MODULE LECTURERS. They almost always give prompt detailed advice on how to improve as well as a rough guide to the grade that would be given to that essay/answer if a real exam.
  • Hand in homework. Seems tedious but the feedback helps in the long run. 
Have realistic expectations! 
  • Ignore it sometimes, as it can be very vague and doesn't mean anything!
  • Just bear in mind that the people providing it are not perfect, and are often opinionated, just like any normal person.
  • Feedback is a supplement to independent learning, it is not meant to completely dictate your education or the work you produce. 

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