Self Portraits and Perpetual Motion: The Student Experience of Informed Choice and Feedback

JRS Blake, Patricia Clift Martin, Louise Walmsley, Valerie Wass

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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    With the goal of universal higher education and the growth in multiple careers for many there has been significant expansion in the skills and associated strategies that Universities must communicate to students, especially around the employability agenda (Cochrane & Straker, 2005, Ertl et al., 2008) Resources exist to facilitate informed choice but organization and presentation of resources is essential. Universities must understand which resources are most useful for students to avoid the “paralysis [that] is a consequence of having too many choices.” (Schwartz, 2005). This study uses focus groups and interviews with students in three disciplines with contrasting curricula structures and career paths to discover how students make informed choices, which resources they use and the utility of feedback and resources currently offered. Initial findings show that available resources need to be valid, verified and limited. The interaction between student and university can only be enriched by a deeper comprehension of choice processes and how resources and support can be positioned most effectively. (Foskett & Hemsley-Brown, 2001) This study will highlight resources that students feel contribute to informed choices and to discover what role students and university play in designing and validating resources.
    One resource available to students is academic feedback. Feedback can be used by students and faculty to inform choice and provide guidance and as an opportunity for students to develop a sense of their strengths and weaknesses (Hounsell, McCune, Hounsell, & Litjens, 2008). If students are to form portraits of themselves as learners then self-awareness and the ability to recognize aspects of their abilities are essential. Through integrating effective feedback the portrait they develop becomes more accurate. This paper will report on initial findings with regard to the student experience of feedback structures, and its impact on their learning. This research has implications for student learning styles, resource creation, and the use of feedback as a tool students can use to become an active contributor to the learning process.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEuropean Learning Styles Information Network
    Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2010 conference
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2010


    • Feedback
    • Choice
    • Student
    • Student Support


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