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Individual Exam Feedback - Logistics and Learning Gain

Project Background:

This project, which was conceived as a direct result of engagement in the HEA STEM 2018 Conference in Newcastle, aims to examine whether individual exam feedback supports learning gain and the student experience. Moreover the project aims to provide proof of concept for a semi-automated model for individual examination feedback and quantification of the logistics of such provision.

The intention is to achieve this by:

  • Inviting Andy Grayson (Nottingham Trent University) to give a WIHEA Seminar to share his model for individual exam feedback (recently shared at HEA STEM Conference)
  • Based on this model, re-mark a recent core first-year examination (sat in Jan 2018 by approximately 330 students) according to alternative marking criteria and establish a semi-automated process for individual exam feedback based on a comment bank, driven by the updated marking scheme related to module Learning Outcomes.
  • Conduct a cohort-level questionnaire, targeting all first year Engineering students to measure:
    - Students’ self-reported perceived learning gain based on the individual feedback (i.e. whether they believe that they now understand the material better and/or what they would need to do next time to improve their mark)
    - Usefulness of individualised feedback (in comparison to the cohort-level feedback they will have already received)
  • Follow-up focus groups with first year students (n~25) to review individual feedback and associated learning gain in a more qualitative sense.
  • For students who failed the original exam, comparison of the relative improvement in exam performance between the summer exam and September re-sit with data from previous years. This will give a more objective measure of learning gain to triangulate with the students’ self-perceived learning gain, and gives insight into whether the individualised feedback makes a significant difference on future performance.
  • It is hoped that the insights provided by this study will be readily disseminated throughout the institution and potentially beyond.
Project team:


Dr Ian Tuersley (WMG, WIHEA Foundation Fellow) - Project Lead


Dr John Thornby (School of Engineering & Centre for Teacher Education) – Project Partner


Professor Gill Cooke (Engineering, WIHEA Fellow) – Collaborative Staff Partner


Nigel Denton (WMG) - Collaborative Staff Partner


Kate Mawson (Centre for Teacher Education, WIHEA Foundation Fellow) - Collaborative Staff Partner