Using Formative Feedback to develop international students’ academic skills

Martin Foo, Caroline Burns

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This small scale study focuses on the impact of “Formative Feedback First” (FFF), a collaborative intervention made on a final year module undertaken by , one year “top up” students. The majority of these students are international, many of whom are not only new to the university but also to the country. The intervention provides formative feedback on a 600-800 word proposal, then stage is to captures the student’s reflection via the use of Gibbs (1988) reflective cycle. This intervention is regarded as low risk as the proposal is not formally marked but timely feedback is provided via the use of a “Formative Feedback First” matrix which has been specifically developed for this purpose. The matrix consists of indicative degree classifications, across four criteria which are knowledge and understanding, theory and practice recognition, use of resources and references and presentation, structure and language. The written feedback is to be returned via tutorial as suggested by Nichol & Macfarlane-Dick (2006) thus facilitating dialogue. The intervention provides the opportunity to give formative feedback in a low risk setting prior to any summative feedback. This aims to give the international students the chance to develop the necessary skills and culturally adjust, i.e. close any gap (Sadler, 1989) between their actual performance and that of a desired standard, before assessments in a high risk setting. A longitudinal aspect of this study is to evaluate from the students’ perspective to what extent this potential (feedforward feedback) is being realised via students’ actions “moving forward”.


ConferenceNorth East Universities (3 Rivers Consortium) 5th Regional Learning and Teaching Conference
Period29/03/12 → …
Internet address


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