In this second blog diary of a five-part series, LITE Teaching Enhancement Project Leader, Antonio Martínez-Arboleda, casts his net wider to look at how others are, and could be, using desktop capture as a way of giving feedback.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been talking to colleagues about my LITE project, which focuses on providing feedback to students using desktop capture.
I am not only interested in discovering how assessment and feedback is being used at the University of Leeds, but also personal testimony and initial reactions to my own ideas on this subject.
I am grateful to my colleagues, as these informal conversations are already helping me to direct and nuance future research enquires, especially now the project has ethical approval.
And it gives me great pleasure to say: the experience could not have been more rewarding.
In a recent event focusing on scholarship organised by the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, I had the opportunity to talk with many colleagues.
There would be too many to mention here, so I’ve cherry picked the ones more relevant to my project.
Elisabetta Adami talked to me about gains and losses in multimodal analysis. It was on Dr Adami’s recommendation that I looked at the work of Gunther Kress.
His research around new forms of texts, knowledge and learning will help me to gain a deep understanding, linguistically, epistemologically, educationally and even politically, of the differences between desktop capture feedback and traditional written feedback.
Confidence a factor
It was while at the event that I noticed a fascinating poster by Anne Stazicker, highlighting feedback provision.
She explained to me how important “confidence” is to one’s ability to provide assessment and feedback
It is, she said, becoming an increasingly important factor when tutoring results-driven students.
I now look forward to exploring the possibility to collaborate with colleagues in the Language Centre, where she teaches.
Separating feedback and grades
I believe separating the provision of feedback from the provision of marks – may be a few days apart from one and another – can turn feedback into a more genuine and productive learning exercise.
The tutor’s initial communication with the student about feedback and ‘feedforward’ sets the tone and frames the discussion exclusively around learning.
After dealing with feedback, there can be a time for discussing grading decisions, if necessary.
And, due to the way in which desktop capture feedback works, this separation is even more feasible.
The feedback received through the video link is generally richer, because of the affordances of the medium. It also lends itself to ‘feedforward’ student work.
Whilst the students work on it, the second markers deal with the grades, which do not feature in the videos.
Obviously, there may be situations in which this separation may not be advisable, but it is something I would like colleagues to consider.
Another issue I’ve been discussing is how to carry out my project trials while complying with school policies on assessment and feedback.
I can happily report that we seem to be finding a way forward, as this formed part of the requirements of our Ethics Committee.
It’s worth noting here that LITE is a productive source for helpful contacts.
Imagine, for instance, one of Tom´s modules, where students have to design websites.
Being able to comment on the work of the students as he navigates through the pages, pointing at design features, can make a huge difference in terms of clarity, precision and time.
The same goes for any work submitted by students in a visual format.
Third blog diary
Next month I will be blogging about the exciting work of Elena Woodacre and Sandy Stockwell, both of the University of Winchester, whose webinar ‘Shades of meaning: nuance in written and audio feedback’ I recently attended.
Their research will certainly be an influence on my LITE project, and I hope they can benefit from my work at here in Leeds.
If you teach an undergraduate or postgraduate module – at any faculty or subject – and would like to participate in this research, please email at firstname.lastname@example.org before the 27th of April 2018.
I will be happy to send you an information sheet and discuss your possible involvement.