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Integrate formative assessment strategies with Assignment Review at Hogeschool Rotterdam

Dan Hasan
December 16, 2020
Class Size
Instructor Workload
Learner Workload


In this “Innovation in Teaching” course for trainee teachers, a diverse body of students research and produce a paper over the course of 10 weeks about learning and teaching. With the need to digitise content and didactics, efforts were made to streamline the learning experience through, for example, integrating activities into the same platform, Microsoft Teams. 

The instructor started using FeedbackFruits in this course in order to stimulate the learning process and feedback dialogue. The Assignment Review tool was chosen to allow feedback to be given to students’ handed-in work according to a set of predetermined criteria, as well as to provide a straightforward overview of how students completed the activity and processed their feedback.

Constructive alignment

Learning objectives

  • The student can use scientific theories about learning and teaching for the analysis of practical problems that they encountered with their own students.
  • The student can make a connection between the theory and their own educational practice.

Learning activities

Students identify and research a problem in education which they want to write about. First, they find peer-reviewed articles about their chosen topic and elaborate on two or three aspects within a theoretical framework, after which they address possible applications in practice, asking the question “How can I improve my teaching?” The instructor used a more autonomous system of feedback, whereby students could choose for themselves which moment to ask for feedback (up until the middle of the course), on either contents or formatting. As well as handing in their paper, students completed a self-evaluation. 

As a follow-up assignment, students rewrote a paragraph of their choice based on the feedback. They then made a document which included the original paragraph, feedback, and new paragraph, and discussed this in pairs. 

Learning activities, based on the Bloom taxonomy, are mainly at the level of:

  • Evaluate - Students reflect on their learning process at multiple points during the course
  • Create - Students produce a concept for a final paper linking theory and practice

Assessment of learning outcomes

  • This was a formative assessment and no numerical scores were allocated in the feedback given to students.

  • For the self-evaluation rubric, students rated their work as ‘sufficient’ or ‘exceptional’.

Notable outcomes

  • The overview of student progress at the top of the activity was found to be an effective way of keeping track of how students had encountered the activity, showing who had delivered their work as well as who had received and read their feedback.

  • The combination of using feedback criteria while also being able to make in-line comments was found to be a useful way of streamlining the feedback process. Being able to choose whether a comment refers to the whole document, a particular criterion, or a specific part of the text also helped to situate feedback comments.
  • The instructor mentioned that, now the student’s work and the rubric could be visible in the same interface and on the same screen, time was saved by not having to switch between different windows.
  • In this assignment the feedback dialogue was a crucial part of the activities - the feedback students found most useful was actionable, detailed feedback, rich with examples. As well as digitally processing this feedback, discussing it in person further internalises the learning process for students.
"My students liked using FeedbackFruits: You can make your courses much more sparkling and vibrant, and now it seems that students are taking the feedback more seriously!" - Anne Potters, Lecturer

The role of the instructor

  • The instructor chose to make a screen recording of how to use Assignment Review to ensure students knew where and how to hand in their work, and this video was shared before the activity began.
  • The instructor included detailed instructions inside of Assignment Review about how and when students should hand in their work, including the self-evaluation rubric as a document attachment inside the instructions box.
  • After students handed in their work, and requested a feedback moment, the instructor used a qualitative 3-point rubric to assess student’s work.

Added value of technology

  • The student progress overview not only meant more insight into the class’ progress, but also allowed the instructor to download and view statistics in the form of a spreadsheet (.csv file). This opens the possibility for analytics and insights to be generated from the data.
  • Students being able to view each other’s work inside Assignment Review, without being able to change it, was found to be a useful feature by the instructor, since it further catalyses the group-learning process.

Possible variation

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