Keynote 2: The Power of Internal Feedback: Theory, Development, and Research in the UK and Italy.

David Nicol (University of Glasgow, UK), and Anna Serbati and Valentina Grion (University of Padua, Italy)

This keynote will outline research carried out through an Italy-UK collaboration on internal feedback, the feedback that students generate for themselves as they engage in learning tasks. The mechanism for the generation of all internal feedback is ‘comparison’ exactly the same mechanism that underpins other cognitive processes such as memory, problem solving, categorization etc. When students receive comments from instructors, they compare them with their own work and generate internal feedback out of that comparison. In Italy, the practical focus of the research has been peer review, a scenario where students generate internal feedback by first comparing their work with that of their peers and then with comments from peers. In order to research internal feedback, we made it explicit by having students give an account of their learning after each comparison. In the UK, further research has examined the effects of other comparators on students’ internal feedback generation, including, rubrics, exemplars, lecture delivery, a published literature review, a group discussion. We will present some of the results of our studies in Italy and the UK as well as the conceptual model of internal feedback that was developed through this research. This model calls for a fundamental change in feedback practices in higher education.

00:46:22 Janina Tosic: Welcome everybody! If you want to please share any questions that arise during the session in the chat and we will come back to these questions during the discussion later on!
00:48:19 Susan Jamieson: Hi Janina
00:48:35 Janina Tosic: Hi Susan! Good to see you here!
00:48:55 ashleigh: Hi David. Would you be willing to post a copy of your latest paper for us to engage with?
00:49:39 Susan Jamieson: Works, or should work?!
00:49:55 Caren Weinberg: It depends on how it is shared! Also important to teach the students about positive feedback and not criticism
00:50:25 Martin Fellenz: Feedback is key to any system taking (self-) regulatory action. It is based on information received that is then processed and (possibly) acted on.
00:50:39 Alexandra Lehmann, Germany: you have to be certain About the Goal you want to achieve beforehand
00:57:37 David Nicol: The paper has been accepted for publication but it needs some minor revision – I may post it as a pre-print. Acceptance happened yesterday!
00:58:19 Janina Tosic: Congratulations, David and co-authors! It would be fantastic if we Can share a pre-print alongside the recording of this session. Thank you so much!
00:58:24 ashleigh: @David – congratulations. Look forward to the read.
01:00:15 Denise Wood: Thank you David, I look forward to reading the paper!
01:03:47 David Nicol: Hello Susan Jamieson – I was deliberately vague about that!
01:04:13 Susan Jamieson: 🙂
01:06:33 David Nicol: Note that Anna is talking about comparisons where students are comparing against other peer’s works but what if they compared against something else as well?
01:08:21 Alexandra Lehmann, Germany: I’m thinking of Attribution Theory: if there’s teacher Feedback, students can Always say: “O, he_she’s stupid.” You can’t do this if you’re the one having to be honest to yourself…
01:09:55 Janina Tosic: I agree! The hierarchy is not there anymore and cannot be used to disregard feedback
01:10:14 David Nicol: Yes the feedback is generated by you in relation to your needs and if you are comparing against (eg a journal article) then it is less emotionally charged. The critical point is the choice of comparators which is what the teacher needs to think about.
01:10:35 Alexandra Lehmann, Germany: One Problem I see in reviewing other students’ essays: how to Prevent students to just copy how the “better rated Essay” has been written…?!
01:12:01 ashleigh: I do think that peer review promotes a level of engagement with the feedback (both giving and receiving) that is otherwise not necessarily evident
01:12:13 Kim Wilder-Davis: Alexandra, I agree that that could be an issue, but I think the way that students are taught to review, and having an explicit conversation about that can help
01:12:18 David Nicol: This is a weakness in a lot of this work. What if a student compares an essay written on Piaget against an essay written about Vygotsky what feedback would they generate?
01:13:22 David Nicol: In peer review students have many different comparators, some good and some bad and they generate different feedback from each
01:13:44 Alexandra Lehmann, Germany: @ Kim: yeah, think you’re Right. biggest Problem is to find the time to do both: teach students how to write exams AND how to review and give themselves internal Feedback…
01:14:34 David Nicol: Alexandra they are doing it anyway when they look up a textbook
01:14:46 Janina Tosic: WOW These are super Learning Outcomes!!!
01:14:51 Alexandra Lehmann, Germany: @ David: ;oDDD
01:15:04 Kim Wilder-Davis: That’s the hardest part! It needs to be taught as askill, but it is hard to find the time in the class to devote to it
01:15:17 Kim Wilder-Davis: I always thought tutorials could help with that
01:15:33 David Nicol: Put feedback back in the hands of the user where it it is happening anyway without your intervention
01:16:49 Kay Sambell: students are inherently doing it anyway so the pedagogic challenge becomes refocused on expository supporting that by choosing and fa
01:17:54 Kay Sambell: cilitating productive comparators to help them learn to see (as Sadler used to say)?
01:20:35 Kay Sambell: ….oops- I meant explicitly not expository … mistyped sorry!
01:21:24 Janina Tosic: What a powerful statement by the student. Your experiences are so inspiring and showcase deep learning
01:32:23 Susan Jamieson: Idea that students learn more from comparing their work to peers’ comments brings to mind the claim that students find it easier to learn concepts from peers or near-peers.
01:33:31 Alexandra Lehmann, Germany: I think thats because they are not being rated by their Peers, at least not in marks that decide how they pass their exams…
01:38:11 Yes Alexandra. They focus on learning instead on marks!
01:39:37 Alexandra Lehmann, Germany: That’s I found out this Semester, when we had to siwtch to completely digital teaching and learning. I refused to take exams in two of my classes, and discussions there were much more intense and motivated!
01:40:12 Alexandra Lehmann, Germany: I’ll talk a bit About that in my paper presentation tomorrow, by the way 😉
01:41:18 Sure. In this sense we need to differentiate summative assessment or marks giving from assessment for learning…
01:57:02 Alexandra Lehmann, Germany: @ Janina: is it possible to see the “Teilnehmerliste”, so we can raise our Hands if we’d liek to say
01:57:55 Kim Wilder-Davis: @Alexandra, do you have the reaction button?
02:07:32 michelle macmahon: Anna, did you provide any training for the students in the comparison process?
02:10:17 Yes, Michelle, we do a sort of brief training. however it doesn’t take much time..
02:10:29 Kay Sambell: I just went into safe driving mode while walking the dog to get away from a socially distanced piano tuner who is noisily using comparative judgement to sort out piano out. enough said!
02:13:18 Kay Sambell: I completely agree- it’s all about learning not what we tend to call ‘assessment’ or ‘feedback’. it’s about creating immersive produce and review overall learning environments !
02:13:35 Janina Tosic: @Alexandra: Do you know about the Ungrading Approach? It is exactly about this: taking away grading so that Learning Can take place
02:14:34 Kay Sambell: David is right. the work in exemplars profitably shifts when you take this perspective because teacher management of them shifts. have a paper in press on this ….
02:14:48 Alexandra Lehmann, Germany: Ungrading Approach doesn’t work with our examination regulations…
02:17:40 Kay Sambell: yes, a really important q is how to raise neophyte students awareness of what they are not yet aware of (unconscious incompetence) – this is where examples can speed up the natural process by being used pre enptively as formative activities.
02:21:15 michelle macmahon: “preparing the learning environment” – I like this.
02:21:39 sj1m: Also difficult to get UG students on board with self-/peer-feedback when they are also governed by a professional regulatory body (in medicine) that emphasises summative assessments and is currently implementing a national exam for all UK UGs 🙁 Grades also impact where students are allocated a PG training post based to some extent on their UG grades, so it becomes all about the grade. I find it easier to engage PG students with formative assessment.
02:21:48 Janina Tosic: yes, that is what one of our most important Tasks is, right? Design a classroom that makes Learning possible and safe
02:22:16 Kay Sambell: janina – yes! it’s about overall learning environments
02:22:51 Kim Wilder-Davis: We also want to take the mystery out of it for the students. If they know what we expect of them and what they are going to be doing, then they can focus on the actual learning and not on trying to figure out what they are expected to do
02:23:15 michelle macmahon: Kim – totally agree
02:23:38 Janina Tosic: So true Kim! Lot’s of energy goes into figuring out what we are looking for…
02:23:43 Kay Sambell: there’s a nice paper on that video example form someone in Australia …
02:23:46 Denise Wood: it is – an environment that encourages dialogic learning – sharing conversation about learning encourages students ot think about their role in the learning rather than expecting their teachers to provide them with information and responses.
02:24:10 Kim Wilder-Davis: I like that Denise!
02:24:12 Janina Tosic: yes, exactly Denise!
02:24:34 Alexandra Lehmann, Germany: It’s About getting them towards an academic attitude – in which there is nor “Right” and “wrong”, but everything a matter of perspectives (somehow).
02:25:20 Alexandra Lehmann, Germany: Have to go to some University Video Meetings – see you later in the afternoon. Thanks for this very interesting Keynote and discussion!
02:25:25 sj1m: Yes, Birgit. We do summative micro-teaching presentations in our online programme, with group peer feedback. Students reflect on the experience and value of seeing their own performance as well as peers’. Very popular assessment!
02:25:29 Janina Tosic: Not in STEM :), Alexandra
02:25:33 Denise Wood: yes alexandra – sometimes there can be a greater focus on delivering content rather than opening up the conversation about the content
02:26:33 Kay Sambell: preparing the environment by explicitly building in opportunities to discuss comparisons …
02:27:33 Kay Sambell: ….my piano tuner is finding many gaps he needs to close! ????
02:27:59 ashleigh: thank you for an excellent keynote
02:28:09 Denise Wood: thank you – enjoy your day.
02:28:10 Mairead Brady: Thanks everyone.
02:28:12 Kim Wilder-Davis: Thank you everyone!
02:28:16 David Nicol: It is not just about closing gaps but exploring the gap (ie. Torrance)
02:28:18 Kay Sambell: Thanks guys. great presentation and chat. hope to see you later!
02:28:22 elke kitzelmann: thank you very much !
02:28:23 sj1m: Thanks you!
02:28:26 Birgit Pitscheider, Innsbruck University: Thank you so much

Please Join the Conversation:

[bbp-single-forum id=2074]