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‘On Your Marks…’ – a new Advance HE publication on feedback in higher education

30 Jul 2020 | Dr Patrick Baughan Patrick Baughan, Senior Learning Adviser, Advance HE, and editor of On Your Marks: Learner-focused Feedback Practices and Feedback Literacy, introduces the new publication comprising 18 papers by more than 40 authors.

On behalf of Advance HE, I am delighted to see our major new volume on feedback and feedback literacy in higher education published this July. Entitled On Your Marks: Learner-focused Feedback Practices and Feedback Literacy, it begins with an introduction by David Carless, and comprises 18 papers by more than 40 authors addressing a wide range of feedback issues in higher education. These papers include case studies, disciplinary examples, guidance for practice, and conceptual studies. I devised and edited this publication and it has been a pleasure working with so many colleagues towards its completion, in spite of the unsettling times that we have all been living in.

Background to the new Advance HE publication:

This publication, the first about assessment and feedback from Advance HE, has its origins at a symposium held in York, in October 2019, led by myself and Erica Morris. The symposium brought together a wide range of speakers, who addressed equally diverse issues in relation to feedback and feedback literacy, in a series of presentations, workshops and discussions. The publication draws on and expands on this symposium. Presenters were invited to submit papers for the publication, and many have. In addition, other colleagues, with expertise and experience in assessment and feedback in higher education, have also contributed papers – further enriching the work.

A diverse resource for higher education professionals involved in assessment and feedback in higher education:

On Your Marks comprises 18 papers and includes the work of some 43 authors. One notable characteristic is that these authors span colleagues writing about the topic for the first time and / or who are relatively new in their higher education careers, to established experts of the field, who have been contributing to our understandings of assessment and feedback for many years. The work is broken into two parts: Part A is entitled Case Studies and Research Projects, and Part B is entitled Discursive and Exploratory Studies. Readers will notice the breadth of coverage across the papers, incorporating case studies, disciplinary examples, ideas for practice, as well as more conceptual pieces. In addition, though the focus of the publication is on feedback in higher education, many of the papers address the closely related area of assessment as well: after all, feedback is what follows from the assessment process.

I would like to thank all the authors for contributing to the publication. I am particularly grateful to David Carless for writing such an excellent introduction, which really sets the tone for the 18 papers that follow. Thanks are also due to Erica Morris who co-chaired the aforementioned symposium and provided a valuable source of advice.

The publication and the pandemic:

Like so much of our work, the trajectory of this project was somewhat altered by the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. Clearly, with the effects it was bearing on our everyday lives, we could not ignore the pandemic in developing the publication. Meantime, in March 2020, I chaired an Advance HE webinar, one of a series intended to discuss higher education issues in light of the pandemic, entitled Moving assessment online: key principles for inclusion, pedagogy and practice. This incorporated ‘vignette talks’ by David Carless, Jess Moody and Geoff Stoakes. It was this webinar that led me to ask David, Jess and Geoff to work with me to write an additional, closing paper for the publication, to consider feedback issues in light of the pandemic.

A celebratory webinar:

In August, we will be hosting a special webinar for Advance HE members to mark the launch of the publication at which a number of authors will talk through their work. Please watch out for details.

Finally, I am pleased to confirm that I am organising a further symposium on assessment and feedback, to be held online on 28 October 2020, with the theme Assessment and feedback in the pandemic era: a time for learning and inclusion. The call for papers is now open and, once again, there will be a linked publication which presenters can submit papers to.

The full report is available for Advance HE members: On Your Marks: Learner-focused Feedback Practices and Feedback Literacy



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