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Policy on Giving Effective Feedback on Assessed Work

What is feedback?

The UK Quality Code for Higher Education defines assessment as "not a linear process; it is an ongoing cycle through which staff design, set, mark, engage in dialogue about performance, review and develop assessments.

1  Aston University values and emphasises those activities that encourage students to reflect on and review their academic work to improve their performance.

2  Feedback can take many different forms. It may be spoken or written. It includes discussion and debate, annotations on written coursework or exam scripts, separate completed feedback sheets, peer-review and self-assessment/reflection.

3  Feedback will be given on work that contributes to the mark for a module. It may also be provided on work that does not contribute a mark depending on what the module leader has identified as important at that point in the module and whether the assessment feeds into similar pieces later on in the module of the programme. We use and value all kinds of feedback.

4   It has a range of purposes, such as helping understanding of progress, identifying strengths and weaknesses, assisting in improving performance. 

Responsibility for Feedback

5  Each module leader should ensure that the University’s policy on giving effective feedback is addressed in relation to all assessed work in the module.  The School should have a mechanism in place to ensure confidence that this policy is being applied across the School.

6  Students will be provided with information on the learning outcomes, nature of the assessment tasks and assessment criteria for each module. 

Return of Marks to Students

7  Aston University recognises how important the timing of the return of marks is to students. Staff will aim to return provisional marks for assessments (examinations and coursework) to students within 4 term-time weeks of the submission deadline. Provisional marks are marks which have not yet been considered and formally confirmed by the Module Board. Students should be informed that provisional marks may be changed by Module Boards. When it is not possible to return provisional marks to students within 4 weeks students will be informed of the date by which the work will be marked.  

8  Schools normally will release provisional marks to students using via MAP.  

Feedback to Students on Examination Performance

9  As a minimum requirement all Schools will provide feedback on examination performance to individual students on request, particularly in cases where the student has performed poorly or less well than expected. Schools may use other approaches to examination feedback including provision of generic feedback reports to all students. 

Other sources of information

10  School information for students including module guides and student handbooks may also include useful information on feedback. The Learning Development Centre is also a useful source of advice and guidance.

For further information, including advice on good practice, please see the full Policy on Giving Effective Feedback on Marked Work