Are current feedback methods optimal for student understanding and learning?

Karen Gubbins
Friday, March 4, 2011

Student feedback provided to paramedic students is often a contentious issue, with tutors and student paramedics not always agreeing upon the best techniques to employ. It is identified that feedback provided to students should be a learning tool, therefore it should be meaningful. It is also identified that meaning can be lost in the written form, and that face-to-face verbal and visual feedback is the best methods of giving feedback. A research project was undertaken take to elicit the views and opinions on feedback methods, from a group of student paramedics who were new to higher education. the research was undertaken with a view to changing current practice, and improve the experience of student paramedics. Most of the student paramedics opted for tutorial feedback, although one student requested feedback via email. All students were provided with their choice of feedback method and the standard feedback method usually employed. It became obvious during the tutorial time allocated, that time management was going to be largest issue, as the tutorials took a considerable amount of time. The students were then asked how useful each method was to them. Most students stated that the tutorial feedback was where they learnt the most and therefore was the most beneficial. A number of issues were raised during the research, for example: how best to use tutorial time, and how much time should be allocated per student.

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