Economics Seminar Series: Can multiple small feedback activities improve student performance?

You are invited to a Zoom Seminar on "Can multiple small feedback activities improve student performance? Evidence from a final year Compulsory module" by Antonio Rodriguez Gil and Juliane Scheffel.

Please register to attend here. 

Abstract

This paper evaluates the impact of written feedback on the academic success of final year economics students. The intervention takes place in a final year module, Advanced Macroeconomics. Feedback is provided on small essays (500w) using a template that provides forward guidance and identifies the weaknesses and strengths of the work to the student. The activity is designed according to the 'seven principles of good feedback' popularised by Nicol and Macfarlane-Dick (2006).

Data on the feedback activities has been collected over five years, providing us a sample of over 700 observations. The structure of teaching over these five years was largely stable allowing us to be more secure in our investigations into the link between this feedback system and student success. We use a robust data analysis technique (propensity matching) to provide reliable measures of the impact of participating in the feedback process on student performance. Whilst considering how feedback has impacted on the academic success of students, we explore how individual characteristic such as past academic performance, gender, disabilities, and participation in job placements influence participation in feedback and the improvement in academic success students find in this feedback activity.

Our results suggest that feedback significantly improves student performance even after accounting for the positive selection of students into these activities. We also find a non-linear impact, with those at the top of the grade distribution benefiting the most from feedback. We also observe some gender differences that we continue to investigate. Our results suggest that student meta-cognition and the Dunning-Kruger effect play an important role in the use of feedback and the impact feedback can have on academic success. This paper extends the existing feedback literature that has focused on the impact of interventions on student satisfaction and on students-staff understanding of feedback by being the first to provide robust evaluation of the impact of feedback on academic success.

All are welcome to attend!