Openness is a state of mind

I am finding that my feedback practice and my thoughts about it are changing by the day. Here are some of my latest musings:

  • I think I have got past the point of feeling (subconsciously) that if I use flashy technology then my feedback is bound to be effective
  • my eureka moment of a few weeks ago is still going strong. The idea that feedback should permeate a course, rather than being an occasional event and should be tutor >student and even better student>student,  is dominating my thinking about my own teaching
  • is feedback anything to do with the openness agenda? I believe that in the widest sense of the term it certainly is.
  • some students resist the idea of expressing their thoughts openly. As Weller says, “openness is a state of mind”.
  • the H818 course is giving me the opportunity to examine my own state of mind: we are commenting on each other’s drafts
  • …and I can see that it is not as straightforward as I have argued in the past. On my teacher-training I sing the praises of peer assessment because it requires the students to understand the topic and to have an insight into the assessment criteria
  • ….but I am finding that some of the feedback I am getting is making me realise that my peers’ understanding of the criteria is different to mine. You could argue that that is the exactly the point of peer assessment.
  • For example, one peer suggested that I had too few references. That has got me thinking.
  • Another suggested that I should take more account of students who may not share my enthusiasm for wall-to-wall feedback. Good point.
  • And 2 peers thought my language was a bit too chatty in places. The problem there is that I try hard to avoid pompous language; perhaps I go too far in the other direction

My reason for taking H818 is mainly to engage with practices which I can incorporate into my own teaching. There is no doubt that this peer  feedback process is contributing to that process. So I am happy!


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