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Feedback on Student Work


Feedback on work submitted (for all years) is returned via Tabula, the coursework management system. Students will receive an email when the feedback is ready to be downloaded. The feedback will provide students with some sense of what the examiners regarded as the strengths and the weaknesses of essays and dissertations. It will also often offer some distilled advice in the form of several highlighted 'Ways to Improve'. Students will also receive feedback on examination performance via the Tabula system. Again, the emphasis will be on strengths and weaknesses, and on 'Ways to Improve'. Students are encouraged to contact module tutors and convenors to discuss the feedback on their assessed work (essays, dissertations and examinations).

Timeliness of Feedback

All students will receive written feedback on their work within twenty working days in the autumn and spring terms. In addition, all students can make appointments to attend a one-to-one tutorial to support the written feedback. This system is designed to help students understand how to improve their written work.

Tutors are not able to give out marks and feedback in the summer term before the examination boards, as these must be ratified by the board before they are released. We aim to release all summer term feedback within one week of the examination board's decision. No mark may be considered final until ratified by the exam board.

In addition, due to the length of dissertations and the proportional amount of time it takes to consider these fully when marking, dissertations are exempt from the requirement to return feedback within twenty working days. MA dissertations should expect their feedback around six weeks after submission, and undergraduate dissertation feedback will usually be made available within one week of the summer exam board.

Making the Most of Feedback

Professor Sarah Richardson devised 10 points to help students get more from their written and oral feedback. They have now been adopted by the Students Union:

  1. Be confident! Go and see your tutor for feedback! Find out about your tutors’ availability and how they prefer to be contacted.
  2. Prepare a few questions you want to ask before seeing your tutor. Perhaps email them to your tutor in advance.
  3. Think about what you want feedback on e.g. structure, analysis, referencing? Be specific.
  4. Discuss your assignments with other students (this is not ‘copying’).
  5. Learn how to give constructive, tactful and positive feedback to other students.
  6. Ask for constructive assignment feedback comments from other students.
  7. Think about when, where and how you can get feedback – verbal, written, email, audio; from seminars, labs, before/after a lecture, and from other students.
  8. Be organised – if you want feedback for your next assignment (from tutors or students) – don’t leave it until the last minute.
  9. Use exemplars of assignments and discuss with other students – this will help you understand what is being required.
  10. Get advice on how to improve for your next assignment – ‘feed-forward’.