5.9 Student view of receiving tutor feedback

To conclude this unit, here are a few examples of quotes from students across a range of modules, highlighting the value of correspondence tuition.

In this audio clip, a science student explains what he finds most helpful. His initial response is quite emotional, but the student takes the time to reflect and then can move forward with positive advice.

Download this audio clip.Audio player: nc4487_alstem_2020_aug001.mp3
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Transcript

The lessons that I've learnt throughout my access course and university and at postgraduate level is to take note of what your tutor's saying, and actually use the feedback that they give as an opportunity to learn. I know, if you're not used to academic writing, it can be quite a a shock sometimes, a bit of a struggle to absorb your tutor's comments initially, 'cos you think "Oh my God, what have I done wrong? Why all these comments? Oh I must be really stupid". It's nothing to do with that. Your tutor's not there to undermine your confidence. He or she are not there to make you look stupid. They're there to help you. And they're there to try and help you improve your academic skills. So really, ultimately what you need to be doing is taking note of your tutor, and have a talk with your tutor. That's what they're there for. You can have a talk to them too, discuss issues further and basically absorb what they're trying to say. And then, try and incorporate what you've learnt into your next assignment, and so on and so forth. And you go through a process of learning. By the end of it, you'll find that you've got the skills that you need at academic level to succeed.

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From a student representative’s Facebook thread

"Helpful may mean different things to different students, so I would say it's about getting to know your students and providing individual feedback. One module that I did, I received the same generic feedback on every assignment. I stopped reading it and only looked at the score.

"I agree providing positive feedback is very important as it reinforces what is going well. Negative feedback needs to be tempered with suggestions or examples of how to improve on the next assignment.

"Suggestions of parts of the text to refer to is also very useful to me."

The two quotes below are taken from the OU’s student consultation forums on TMA feedback that tutors have access to.

From the Most useful TMA feedback forum:

"I find most useful: constructive feedback, by this I mean, what is that I need to do to make my next assignment better. For example, when my tutor said for the next TMA, I would structure your answer in a certain way or you could have focused more in this part of the argument instead of that one.

"I also find it very useful when the tutor explains exactly what he/she would have preferred to see in the answer because unless they tell you, you wouldn't know and so for the next TMA you would be picked up on exactly the same point. I like when the tutor reckons that the wording was not enough to cover all the topic and that I did as much as I possibly could.

"This is a total boost for my confidence!"

From the Most frustrating TMA feedback forum:

"A TMA should be an opportunity to identify issues, correct them and leave the student feeling positive and ready to go, even if the mark wasn't great. There should be consideration of the fact this is remote study so we just can't pop into our tutor's office like I could at Uni and get a better understanding of what was meant by a remark.

"The words and tone will be interpreted solely on what is written so some effort needs to be put into how they could be interpreted."

5.8 Transparent marking