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Using Microsoft Forms for Marking and Feedback


Alastair Smith uses Microsoft Forms to deliver quality, personalised feedback to a large cohort of students on the first-year module, Environmental Principles. As part of the module assessment, students deliver two-minute policy pitches, and Alastair found that this posed a challenge for marking and feedback given the size of the cohort. He resolved this by creating a Microsoft Form which reflects the intended learning outcomes and marking rubric. The Microsoft Form includes some yes/no questions, selection criteria that reflect a range of possible quality descriptors and some free-text boxes for more personalised descriptions and feedback. After completing a form for each student, Alastair exports the data and uses Mail Merge to create personalised feedback documents for each student.

In using Microsoft Forms for marking and feedback, Alastair hopes to overcome the challenge of not always having enough time to provide quality, personalised feedback to large cohorts. He has also found that this strategy is particularly useful in team marking, as it helps to maintain consistency amongst markers.

Find out more hereLink opens in a new window [video].

Lesson plan

  1. Alastair created the marking forms using Microsoft Forms by inputting the intended learning outcomes and marking rubric for the policy pitch exercise. Some of the questions on the form are yes/no questions, for example ‘did the student include page numbers?’, whilst other parts of the form are quality indicators that describe the nature of the work submitted. The form also includes free-text boxes for more personalised descriptions of students’ work and feedback.
  2. Students are provided with the same marking rubric that Alastair uses to create the form so they know in advance what he is looking for.
  3. After watching the students’ pitches, Alastair completes a form for each student.
  4. Alastair downloads the data from the Microsoft Forms into an Excel spreadsheet.
  5. Alastair uses the Excel spreadsheet to create a Mail Merge, using a template. It’s important to think about how the data from the form fits into the Mail Merge template, for example think about punctuation when inputting data into the form.
  6. The Mail Merge creates personalised documents with feedback taken from the form, which Alastair then uploads to Tabula.

Tutor's observations

Feedback is equally important to any other part of the learning experience, but very often we don’t have the time to invest in delivering the quality that is deserved and that would enhance the learning experience. So this was a way of increasing my own efficiency while at the same time providing much more detailed and specific feedback.

This potentially pays the biggest dividends in cohorts of large students. It might not be worth it for small cohorts.

Student testimonies

The feedback from the GD105 summative was very detailed. it analysed each element of my policy brief and helped me focus on specific elements that I did well and others where I could improve, which was helpful. it was also very positive which is really encouraging.

Find out more about using Microsoft Forms for learner feedback on Alastair's YouTube ChannelLink opens in a new window. 

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GD105: Environmental Principles of Global Sustainable Development