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Dialogue by design: Creating a dialogic feedback cycle using assessment rubrics

Gibbs, G.F. (2014) Dialogue by design: Creating a dialogic feedback cycle using assessment rubrics. In: Teaching and Learning Forum 2014 Transformative, Innovative and Engaging, 30 - 31 January, Perth: The University of Western Australia


Students consistently identify assessment feedback as a troubling aspect of their university experience. They find it confusing, difficult to act upon and unhelpful to their processes of establishing, understanding and fulfilling the criteria for high quality performance. Without a clear understanding of what constitutes ‘high quality performance’ students find it difficult to engage with learning: they are unable to establish goals to direct their cognitive and behavioural efforts and thereby remain engaged and motivated. Empirical evidence and attendant theorising suggests a need to reconceptualise assessment feedback within a dialogic process through which assessment goals and criterion meanings are shared and expectations and standards are clarified. In higher education assessment rubrics are a valuable but under - utilised tool capable of establishing and explicating assessment criteria and providing feedback. This paper argues for a feedback cycle that is embedded in normal teaching and learning processes and encourages staff and students to develop a shared dialogue that supports clear and transparent understandings of assessment criteria and standards. This dialogic feedback cycle simultaneously enables staff to provide high quality, criteria specific, actionable feedback and enables students to develop skills self - regulated learning. This model was tested in a pre - university enabling program in 2012 and 2013 and resulted in an overall 14.5 % increase in the student retention rate.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for University Teaching and Learning
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