“Feedback is very critical in learning and teaching. Without feedback, learning is like a ship without radar as there is no direction given to students regarding their written work”.
Given the importance and pivotal role assessment feedback plays in teaching-learning environments as cited in the above sections, one wonders whether assessment feedback is indispensable to the teaching and learning process.
In ODL, one of the most challenging aspects of assessment is dealing with assessing large class sizes. When faced with large numbers of students in ODL, the main assessment challenge is finding efficient ways in which to assess them and provide them with feedback to support effective learning. These academic counselling classes are often in the first year where there is a diverse mix of students, most of whom are just starting to get to grips with the academic expectations of university
Within ODL there are two concepts in one – “openness of learning” and “distance learning”. Thus, ODL is a multi-dimensional thought aimed at linking the time, geographical, economic, social and educational communication distance among student and institution, student and academics, student and courseware and student and peers. ODL focuses on removing barriers to access learning, flexibility of learning provisions, student-centeredness, supporting students and constructing learning programmes with the expectation that students can succeed.
In ODL, counsellors are the key drivers of assessment feedback. Counsellors spend a lengthy time altering the wording of assessment tasks, and designing criteria with which to measure the evidence which students deliver to them. Moreover, the decisions they make on the source of this evidence are made carefully and painstakingly. Their good meanings are sometimes unbounded and sometimes, the intended good intentions yield disastrous effects or impacts on learning outcomes.
In ODL environments which are characterised by a large number of students, there is a need to find ways to minimise over-assessment and find ways to reduce the assessment load.
counsellors in ODL encompasses a broad range of teaching, coaching, mentoring and monitoring activities that guide students through their courses, mediating the packaged learning materials and facilitating the learning process
Purpose of Feedback
The purpose of feedback is to help students to become aware of their strengths and identify areas in need of improvement and what action is needed in order to improve
The success of feedback cannot be judged without clarity on what feedback aims to achieve. Feedback could be used for a various number and range of purposes.
Purpose of Feedback
Feedback encourages students to strive for further achievement
Feedback determines the level of achievement.
Feedback provides information which may enable students to improve performance.
Indicate level of performance
Feedback provides information about how well or poorly a student performs
Enhance learning experience
Feedback may enhance the quality of student educational experience
Evaluate learning task
Feedback which allows re-submission of task provides opportunity for self-evaluation
Diagnose strengths and weaknesses
Feedback points out strengths and weaknesses in relation to assessment criteria.
Clarify and accountability
Feedback may be used to demonstrate and explain how an answer/grade is reached.
Indicate intellectual achievement
Students build their intellectual achievement on the foundations of feedback.
Correct errors and point out to students’ information that they might have missed.
Data obtained from grading and assessment may be used to improve tutoring.
TNOU- Feedback System
Tamil Nadu Open University has designed a feedback mechanism which is collected from both the students and the counsellors regarding SLM materials, academic counselling classes, assignments submission and evaluation and other academic support services provided by the University. Both feedbacks are being collected from the academic counsellors and the students through Learner Support Centres of TNOU.
Collected feedback would be classified related to the support services and the same is forwarded to the respective schools and division of the TNOU for taking up conduct feasibility study to strength the academic supports to the learners community. Based on the optimum recommendations and suggestion from them take into account to boost up the existing system of academic support to the learners.