Introducing the Student Experience of Feedback, Assessment and Revision Project (SEFAR)

The purpose of the Student Experience of Feedback, Assessment and Revision (SEFAR) project is to learn more about how distance-learning undergraduate students at the Open University view the quality of the assessment and support provided by the University, and how students approach and use assessment resources. The SEFAR project was developed as a response to findings reported in a White Paper Assessment: Practice and Promise by Whitelock and Cross (2014) that found there was an institutional need to learn more about how students experience assessment.

Over the next six months the project will develop and send out a questionnaire to 2,500 students and undertake around a dozen follow-up telephone interviews. Of particular interest will be four key elements of assessment at the Open University: TMAs (Tutor marked continuous assessment assignments), sat final examinations, EMAs (end of module course work assessments) and time spent revising for examinations. For this investigation ‘revision’ and the ‘exam’ were intentionally treated as separate learning activities; a conceptual distinction made possible by taking a learning design view of student activity.

The project concludes in Summer 2015.

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