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Business and Management
Oxford Brookes Business School
+44 (0) 1865 485746
CLC 1.27, Headington
I am a Principal Lecturer Student Experience, in this role I have led a number of institutional and school projects focused on improving the student experience including enhancing online feedback and student engagement. I am a National Teaching Fellow and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and have been centrally involved in a number of national pedagogy projects funded by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and the Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE). My research into teaching and learning, project management and teaching practice come together to give a coherent focus on enhancing the experience of students at Brookes and beyond.
u51016 Introduction to Business and Management (undergraduate first year)
u51073 The Business and Management Synoptic (undergraduate honours module)
P58897 Synoptic Research Project (postgraduate)
I research into the pedagogy of higher education, within this my current focus is on the nature of assessment and feedback in higher education and the intellectual development of students.
2014 Visiting International Scholar, Australian Business Deans Council
2012 Oxford Brookes Team Teaching Fellowship
2009 UK National Teaching Fellowship
2003 Oxford Brookes Teaching Fellowship
HE institutions persistently seek to increase student engagement and satisfaction with assessment feedback, but with limited success. This study identifies the attributes of good feedback from the perspective of recipients. In a distinctive participatory research design, student participants were invited to bring along actual examples of feedback that they perceived as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ to 32 interviews with student researchers. Findings highlight the complex interdependency and contextual nature of key influences on students’ perspectives. The feedback artefact itself, its place in assessment and feedback design, relationships of the learner with peers and tutors, and students’ assessment literacy all affect students’ perspectives. We conclude that standardising the technical aspects of feedback, such as the feedback artefact or the timing or medium of its delivery is insufficient: a broader consideration of all key domains of influence is needed to genuinely increase student engagement and satisfaction with feedback.
It is clear from the literature that feedback is potentially the most powerful and potent part of the assessment cycle when it comes to improving further student learning. However, for some time, there has been a growing amount of research evidence that much feedback practice does not fulfil this potential to influence future student learning because it fails in a host of different ways. This dilemma of the disjuncture between theory and practice has been increasingly highlighted by the UK National Student Survey results. This paper uses a model of the assessment process cycle to frame understandings drawn from the literature, and argues that the problem with much current practice resides largely in a failure to effectively engage students with feedback. The paper goes on to explore how best to effectively engage students with assessment feedback, with evidenced examples of feedback strategies that have successfully overcome this problem.
Assessment is currently in the spotlight for its poor ratings in student satisfaction surveys and"under performance" in quality reviews. Consequently, a variety of initiatives and projects are being undertaken aimed at improving assessment. However, many of the concepts and theories underpinning assessment practice are complex and interrelated, which can mean that relatively simple and apparently minor changes can have major, and often unintended, consequences. This paper was initially prepared to foreground an internal document providing diagnosis and recommendations for change to assessment strategy and policy in a post-1992 university. It draws on a wide body of literature and research studies to distil and discuss key issues, which should inform assessment decisions. These key issues provide a framework to examine assessment policy and practice and enable the alignment of assessment policy with the beliefs and values of an institution.
This paper examines the intellectual development of undergraduates with reference to research undertaken with a cohort of undergraduates on entry to a business and management degree. Using Baxter Magolda’s Measure of Epistemological Reflection (1992; 2001), findings indicate that the majority of new students hold dualistic and absolute beliefs in which knowledge is seen as certain and a transmission approach to teaching valued. Statistical cross tabulations on age, gender, nationality and academic performance revealed two of significance, academic performance and nationality, and these are discussed along with the wider implications for learning, teaching and assessment. The paper concludes that intellectual development of students can be supported by appropriate assessment and learning activities, and that there are strong arguments for commencing an intentional process early in the unfrozen, transitional period of the first year of an undergraduate degree. Such a process may result in an uncomfortable student experience and therefore provoke negative student evaluation. Consequently, students need to understand the development process and reasoning behind adopted pedagogies, not only to militate against negative course evaluation and alleviate anxiety, but also to support their intellectual development. It takes time for substantive intellectual development to occur and a programme approach is a necessity.
Constraints in resourcing and student dissatisfaction with assessment feedback mean that the effectiveness of our feedback practices has never been so important. Drawing on findings from a three-year study focused on student engagement with feedback, this paper reveals the limited extent to which effectiveness can be accurately measured and challenges many of the assumptions and beliefs about effectiveness of feedback practices. Difficulties relating to multiple purposes of feedback, its temporal nature and the capabilities of evaluators reveal that measuring effectiveness is fraught with difficulty. The paper argues that the learner is in the best position to judge the effectiveness of feedback, but may not always recognise the benefits it provides. Therefore, the pedagogic literacy of students is key to evaluation of feedback and feedback processes.
Offered as a case-study, this chapter considers the introduction by Oxford Brookes University of an Assessment Compact (defined as a non-legally enforceable agreement) between the university and its students. The aim of the Compact is to reconceptualise thinking about assessment and feedback in the institution to bring about significant change in both assessment practices, and attitudes to assessment and feedback among staff and students, rather than just consolidate current practice. The chapter will consider the difficulties and challenges that have been faced in the implementation of the Compact, and the degree to which it has so far been successful, and why.
Assessment and feedback in higher education
Intellectual development in higher education
2014 July/Aug Visiting Scholar at the invitation of Australian Business Deans Council, funded to give workshops at 10 Business Schools in Australia and New Zealand on ‘Taking a program approach to assessment and feedback’.
2012 - 2014 Lead for the National Development Programme for Directors of Teaching and Learning, Association of Business Schools
2012 to date Chartered Association of Business Schools Learning and Teaching Committee
2011 Principal Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy
2009 - 2011 BMAF Advisory Board
2003 - 2010 Business Studies AQA ‘A’ Level Advisory Board