Leyton provides a wide selection of both academic and vocational study programmes, including A-level and BTEC qualifications. These examinations are taken in order to gain entry to higher education and the majority of Level 3 learners progress to university.
However, most students arrive from secondary school with minimal knowledge of digital literacies or academic citation. This can present a challenge since many are enrolled in courses and working towards qualifications that require these skills. Madihah Jilani, Health and Social Care teacher, aspired to improve her students’ academic literacy skills and give them the self-confidence to produce original assignment submissions.
In the 2015-16 academic year, Leyton Sixth Form College students collectively submitted 31,434 assignments using Feedback Studio. The introduction of Feedback Studio has alleviated anxiety surrounding students’ digital literacy skills and emphasized the importance of original writing. Students report feeling more independent, confident, and better prepared for university life.
A college initiative around developing and reference and citation skills, buoyed by Feedback Studio, has also helped students understand academic integrity and has virtually eliminated plagiarism cases. Jilani states: “Last year, we had no one plagiarize. Absolutely no one. What you see is students cheering at the screen when they see that blue little square come up because they’ve got a 0% [Similarity Score]. And it’s that type of thing that makes you think, ‘Okay, this is working. They’re getting it, they’re understanding it, yes.”
Additionally, Feedback Studio has created an unanticipated but welcome opportunity to create teachable moments. A higher-than-desired Similarity Score, explains Madihah, can present a valuable opportunity to sit down with a learner to talk through the result and together discuss how the submission can be improved next time.
Looking at the Similarity Report together is an opportunity for meaningful student-teacher dialogue, rather than a “telling off’ Madihah emphasizes, adding, “I think it sometimes encourages much deeper feedback.”
One student said that she enjoys receiving her feedback and marks via Feedback Studio in advance of a lesson or her one-on-one feedback session. The short time between receiving written feedback and later discussing it with a teacher, she says, helps her to reflect on her learning.
Madihah looks forward to working within a completely paperless department in the near future and plans to trial Feedback Studio voice comments for future assessments.