Exploring 360° feedback to develop undergraduates’ communication skills

Workshop presented by Helen Bedford, Lecturer in Midwifery, and Rachel Lavelle, Deputy Programme Lead. 21 March 2017.

Helen and Rachel facilitated an excellent workshop on discussing how the development of communication skills can be facilitated throughout degree programmes together with associated assessment and feedback mechanisms. To accomplish this in the Department of Health Sciences, they place particular emphasis on utilising ‘360°degree feedback

A cohort size studying BA (Hons) Midwifery Practice at York will typically consist of 23 students and the programme has been specifically designed to embed the enhancement of student communication skills throughout. During University based clinical skills and theory modules which have core communication components, students typically receive feedback via self-reflection and from peers and lecturers. In clinical practice modules students engage in self-assessment and professional midwives act as mentors and assessors. During the second year Professional Relationships module, midwifery practice scenarios/active simulations are created with the help of professional actors for individual students, where their performances providing care and communicating effectively are formatively assessed. These sessions are also video-recorded to allow for subsequent self-reflection. A typical example would be to simulate a telephone conversation with a pregnant woman where the student must establish a relationship with the woman, use their tone of voice effectively and demonstrate negotiation skills. Summative assessment takes the form of a reflective essay.

Workshop participants were encouraged to consider how they develop, assess and provide feedback for the development of student communication skills. Examples included peer-to-peer learning, presentations, vivas, team-based learning and facilitation of teaching/outreach sessions to school pupils.

Helen Bedford & Rachel Lavelle

Helen and Rachel then went on to describe what 360° degree feedback is (a system where students can receive feedback from those around them) and how they have applied this to inform their practice. An adapted version of Pendleton’s rules1 are used as a model to inform how feedback is provided following the simulated scenarios in midwifery:

  1. Student reflects on performance and identifies what went well
  2. Actor (in-character) reflects on performance and identifies what went well
  3. Student peers reflect on performance and identify what went well
  4. Actor (out-of-character) reflects on performance and identifies what went well
  5. Academic reflects on performance and identifies what went well
  6. Student identifies ways to improve
  7. Actor (in-character) identifies ways to improve
  8. Student peers identify ways to improve
  9. Actor (out-of-character) identifies ways to improve
  10. Academic identifies ways to improve

The sessions ended with participants discussing the challenges of providing 360° feedback and considering as to whether such a system could be implemented with their own students.

[1]: http://www.gptraining.net/training/educational_theory/feedback/pendleton.htm

Summary by Glenn Hurst

Rethinking feedback in light of the York pedagogy

Monday 2 November 2015, room HG21, Heslington Hall, 12.30-2.00pm

The next Forum workshop will be run by Cathy Dantec and Bill Soden and will explore the theme of ‘Rethinking feedback in light of the York pedagogy’.

Cathy and Bill would like participants to consider the following questions before the workshop:

  1. What do you include under the term feedback, and what do you think your students understand by the term feedback?
  2. Are there aspects of your feedback practice that you have changed / developed in recent years, or aspects of feedback practice that you would like to change?

Please think about these questions and add any comments to this post. Specific points will not be focused on during the workshop.

Annual Learning and Teaching Conference: One size does not fit all: ensuring all students reach their potential

Logo_LTConf2015_Rev2The 2015 Learning and Teaching conference was held on 10 June 2015, with almost 150 delegates, from across the university and externally present. This is the University’s annual event to celebrate, showcase and disseminate the wealth of good practice in learning and teaching across the University.

This year, the main conference theme was based around addressing inclusivity, diversity and equality within the classroom and curricula. The conference will explore the implications of diversifying delivery of programmes and how students are supported in the process of achieving their potential.

Session summaries and materials are now available for the sessions.

L&T Session H – Personalising feedback: Can we bridge the formative-summative gap?

Cathy Dantec and Bill Soden – Language and Linguistic Science and Education

Abstract | Presentation: Session H

The workshop provided us with two perspectives on how the practice of providing formative feedback has developed and its links and implications for summative assessment.LT-Forum-06-15-95

Both Bill and Cathy described how they had used screencasts to provide formative feedback to students. While this had proved popular with students they questioned how effective it had been to support learning. In particular they were both concerned with its potential to reinforce reliance on the teacher for direction, undermining efforts to produce student autonomy and self-correction as well as difficulty in getting this type of feedback to “feedforward” to subsequent assessment.

Cathy described how she has taken some of the ideas around providing targeted feedback to students and incorporated iterative student development (feed forward) and peer review and critique through the development of a summative student writing portfolio that is embedded across the first year of the French Degree programme.

Participants discussion addressed issues such as the nature of formative feedback, differences between disciplines and barriers to its use.

As ever there wasn’t nearly enough time to unpack all the issues in this thoroughly thought provoking session and I look forward to seeing the discussion continue online using the comments feature below.

Simon Davies, e-learning development team

Learning and Teaching Conference 2014

The 2014 conference, attended by over 160 delegates, was on the theme of ‘Thinking outside the module box’.ThinkingOutsideTheBox_Logo_01

The VC, Professor Koen Lamberts, opened the day, taking questions on the vision for learning and teaching at York.

The keynote address was given by Dr Mitch Waterman from the University of Leeds exploring assessment and how it aligns to feedback and marking criteria.

A variety of workshops were run by York colleagues exploring the conference theme, including topics such as embedding employability in the curriculum, aiming to build a York graduate and skills progression.

In addition, 24 posters on current learning and teaching projects across campus were on display during lunch and tea.

Feedback has been very positive with people appreciating the chance to find out about initiatives in the university: ‘An excellent opportunity to see the diverse projects going on elsewhere’; ‘Interesting and informative day’; ‘Really looking forward to the next one’.