Godalming College have recently been working with the Surrey Assessment and Learning Lab at the University of Surrey to conduct research on how 16-19 year old students respond to written feedback. The result of the project was the development of a toolkit to use in the classroom by one of our teachers Neil Winstone. It specifically promotes student engagement with assessment and feedback, known as DEFT (Developing Engagement with Feedback Toolkit). Trials of the toolkit at Godalming with teaching staff and students, across a broad range of subject areas, were very successful with some key findings informing not only best practice at Godalming but contributing to the research at the University of Surrey.
The results of this project show a significant increase in students’ feedback literacy after using the resources and highlight the need for Dedicated Improvement and Reflection Time (DIRT) to develop skills. With the introduction of linear A Levels (harder content, tougher marking and students taking exams at the end of course) it is important that students are reflecting on their performance and developing their skills over the two years of the course to make sure that they are fully prepared to take their ‘one off’ exam.
The results of the study have been promoted throughout the College and through the consortium of nine individual colleges in Surrey and Sussex, known as S7, which has improved teaching practice locally. Further afield high school teachers in Seattle, USA and Malaysia have also been using the ‘Developing Engagement with Feedback Toolkit 16-19’ after a presentation at the UK Study Group Conference.
Godalming are now involved in another research project with the University centring on how and what students can recall of the feedback they have received with results to be published soon.
Olly Stevens, Director of Teaching and Learning says ‘Godalming College prides itself on their exceptional teaching and learning and are at the forefront of pushing educational pedagogy. The partnership with the Surrey Assessment and Learning Lab is a great way to test our teaching methods and contribute to the wider literature on the subject.
Dr Naomi Winstone, Director of the Surrey Assessment and Learning Lab at the University of Surrey, said: “The way feedback is given, received and integrated within learning has been a focus for improvement in higher education in recent years. With Godalming College, we’re delighted to have been able to work to apply what has been learned within a Sixth Form context. This project has enabled university lecturers and college teachers to learn more about each other’s professional experiences, providing really important practical insights into the transition from school and tertiary education to University – ensuring the impacts of the project will extend well beyond Godalming College.”