Proceedings of The Physiological Society

University of Oxford (2011) Proc Physiol Soc 23, PC1

Poster Communications

Assessing students’ perception of feedback

T. Thomas1, W. Leadbeater1

1. College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Bimringham, Birmingham, United Kingdom.


The national student survey (NSS) has highlighted assessment and feedback as a key area for student concern. In the 2009 NSS at the University of Birmingham, 86% of students were satisfied overall with the BMedSc programme. However, 46% of students felt feedback did not help clarify things they did not understand. A preliminary study was conducted to assess the students’ perception and opportunities for feedback within a first year physiology module of the BMedSc programme in 2009-2010. Fifty four students were present during the scheduled session and completed the questionnaire. From the data collected students generally think they do not receive feedback (65% of cohort) on their learning and understanding. However, 87% of the students considered small group teaching (SGT) sessions as an opportunity to test their understanding with 30% of the students taking questions into the SGT sessions, where all students attended at least one SGT. Nearly all students (96%) agreed the laboratory practical sessions tested their understanding with 91% of the students discussing the practical with the lab staff during the session. Questions were provided within the practical schedule to test the students understanding; 78% of the students attempted the questions but only 31% sought feedback on the questions answered. Of the 54 students, 69% agreed the specific module discussion board available via the webCT VLE tested their understanding. However, less than half of the students accessed the generic feedback posted online relating to their in course assessment; 79% of those that did correlated the feedback given to their own performance. These preliminary results imply there is a discrepancy between the students’ perception of receiving feedback and their known opportunities to attend, engage and ask questions where their understanding can be tested. Rather than provide more opportunities for feedback (which has implications for the workload of the academic and student timetables), it is important to ensure that students understand what feedback is, what is being currently provided and how they can use it effectively.

Where applicable, experiments conform with Society ethical requirements