Feedback Champions

Fostering a Supportive Feedback Culture

Being a Southampton Feedback Champion: Impressions from a student representative (by Giles Howard)

Posted on August 22, 2014 by in Blog

When I first received the email about Feedback Champions, I knew immediately I wanted to do it – I represent the students of the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering in countless meetings, and if there’s one topic that invariably comes up, it is feedback and “what students think about feedback” – a question that is as difficult to answer as it sounds!

I think a lot about feedback – as Faculty Officer, and previously a course rep, it seemed to be the number one complaint that students had with modules, and I was always on the lookout for ways to improve it. So, knowing that both staff and students were concerned about feedback, but both groups seemed to not really be seeing eye-to-eye on the subject; this project was ideal for me as it let me get hands-on and discover exactly what each group thought!

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the interview process – it’s always interesting to ask a question and realise that someone had never thought of feedback in that way before. For example, most students I interviewed didn’t view that having a quick chat with a lecturer after lectures is a form of feedback, or that working in groups is itself feedback! I was also surprised to find out that most people actually felt that feedback from peers who had worked with them on a piece of work was actually more valuable to them than lecturer feedback for the most part – this whole project has really opened my eyes to the wide variety of views that both staff and students have.

I really think that this project is going to enable a lot of good practices in feedback and assessment, which I’m excited to see! There were some very good practices that I uncovered during my interviews, and I’m sure all of the other feedback champions feel similarly! With the work that we’ve done so far, and the upcoming work over the summer, I’m very excited to see the changes that this project effects, and hopefully we’ll be seeing some real improvement in feedback practice very soon! It’s also been really great to work with so many ambitious and engaged people who just want to improve the university and the experience for both staff and students.

Giles Howard
2nd Year, MEng Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence

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