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‘On Your Marks’: Vignette presentations on Learner-Focused Feedback Practices and Feedback Literacy

19 Aug 2020 | Patrick Baughan Patrick Baughan, editor of On Your Marks: Learned-focused Feedback Practices and Feedback Literacy, introduces this member webinar which will take place on Tuesday 25 August.

To coincide with the publication of Advance HE’s new publication, entitled On Your Marks: Learned-focused Feedback Practices and Feedback Literacy, we are delighted to host this webinar which features vignette presentations from a number of the contributors to the publication. David Carless (University of Hong Kong), an international expert in higher education feedback will provide the first vignette, other speakers including Karen Gravett (University of Surrey), Kirsten Bartlett (University of Sheffield), Pam Parker (City, University of London), Rachel Shanks (University of Aberdeen), Erica Morris (Higher Education Consultant and Academic Associate for Advance HE) and Kay Sambell (Edinburgh Napier University).

Join us to hear and discuss some innovative perspectives and case studies about feedback in the current higher education environment, as well as celebrate the launch of ‘On Your Marks…’.

Like so much of our work, the trajectory of this project was somewhat altered by the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, from January 2020. As editor, I realised that, with the effects it was bearing on all aspects of our everyday and working lives, including our work in teaching and learning, we simply could not ignore the pandemic in developing the publication. Afterall, staff and students were having to quickly adapt their assessment and feedback approaches to online or ‘remote’ environments. 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, was held twice, and attracted a considerable audience. 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.

This paper provides a closing piece for the Advance HE publication On Your Marks: Learner-focused feedback practices and feedback literacy. The publication and its original title were devised before the arrival of the pandemic and yet its focus – re-considering and sharing good practice in higher education feedback – seems oddly appropriate, and all the more pressing, in view of the events that have shaped our lives since the beginning of 2020. The pandemic has accelerated the need for us to continue to refresh our assessment and feedback practices, and it has done so starkly. As explained above, we have not attempted to provide a comprehensive set of guidelines but, in focusing on providing student-centred feedback in online environments, being inclusive in migrating to online assessment and feedback, and on maintaining and updating appropriate quality measures, we believe that we have highlighted three important concerns. These, and many related issues, are also being addressed in new literature, frameworks and guides, rapidly emerging to help higher education staff and students navigate the new landscape: examples here include updated guidance on assessment (Sambell and Brown, 2020) and feedback (Surrey Learning Lab, 2020) in light of the pandemic.

In a manner of speaking, this paper represents a beginning, since all the authors will continue to be involved in contributing and supporting others in the provision of learner-centred and inclusive assessment and feedback practices, as our ways of working and learning in higher education adapt to the ‘new times’.

Join the webinar – free for Advance HE members – 09:00-10:15 BST, Tuesday, 25 August

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


Professor David Carless is Professor of Educational Assessment at the Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, and a Principal Fellow of Advance HE. His signature publication is the book Excellence in University Assessment: Learning from award-winning practice (2015, Routledge). His current research focuses on teacher and student feedback literacy to enhance the impact of feedback processes. His most recent book, Designing effective feedback processes in higher education: A learning-focused approach, co-authored with Naomi Winstone, was published by Routledge in 2019. Further details of his work are on his website:

Dr Karen Gravett is a Lecturer in the Department of Higher Education at the University of Surrey. Karen’s research focuses on learner identities, educational transitions, and academic literacies. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and co-convenor of the Society for Research in Higher Education Learning, Teaching and Assessment Network.

Dr Kirsten Bartlett Director of Learning and Teaching in the Psychology Department, The University of Sheffield studied Japanese and Korean studies with linguistics for her undergraduate degree at the University of Sheffield. Following her studies she developed a keen interest in understanding language processing in the mind, however, she did not pursue this until she returned to academia in 2009 after a career in television production. Kirsten completed a Masters in Psychology and in 2012 was awarded a PhD in Psycholinguistics. On completion of her PhD, Kirsten worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of York before coming back to the University of Sheffield to take up a position as a Teaching Specialist.

Professor Pam Parker is a Professor of Educational Development at City, University of London and is Deputy Director of the Department of Learning Enhancement and Development. Professor Parker started her career as a nurse and then moved to being a nurse lecturer prior to moving into educational development. She has many years’ experience of staff development activities focused on supporting staff to provide high quality education using contemporary pedagogical approaches. She is the programme director for the MA Academic Practice Programme and the PhD Professional Education Programme. She is a National Teaching Fellow, an HEA Principal Fellow and a Senior Fellow of SEDA.

Dr Rachel Shanks is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Aberdeen and Programme Director of its BA in Professional Development. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Her research interests cover professional learning, mentoring, informal learning and children’s rights in education. She is a co-convenor of Network 6 of the European Educational Research Association whose focus is on Open Learning.

Dr Erica J Morris is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), an Academic Associate for Advance HE and a Higher Education Consultant working on the Degree Standards project, which is focused on the professional development of external examiners. She was the HEA’s Academic Lead for this national programme (2016-2018) and has previously led a range of initiatives in higher education, including the Grade Point Average project (2013-15), Transforming Assessment for Higher Education (HEA, 2011-14) and the Academy Jisc Academic Integrity Service (2009-11). Erica serves on the editorial board for the International Journal of Educational Integrity and has published in the fields of academic integrity and student plagiarism; assessment and feedback; statistics education; and technology-enhanced learning. She has worked at Anglia Ruskin University, the Open University, UK and the University of Sussex.

Professor Kay Sambell is a Professor in the Department of Learning and Teaching Enhancement at Edinburgh Napier University. A 2002 National Teaching Fellow and a PFHEA, she is widely known, nationally and internationally, for her contributions to the assessment for learning movement in higher education, as well as for her research outputs on representations of childhood in dystopian children’s literature.


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