19 Mar 2018

SPOTLIGHT ON.... University of Strathclyde's one minute feedback

This ‘SPOTLIGHT ON’ features the University of Strathclyde’s one minute feedback system, which is used to gather attendance at lectures whilst also motivating students to actively feed back at the end of class. Comments are responded to at the beginning of the next lecture, thus closing the feedback loop and demonstrating engagement with the opinions and needs of students.

A generic form is issued to the class at the start of each lecture, asking students to identify themselves and then fill in free text responses to “What have you learned in this lecture?” and “What should I try harder to explain?”, as well as quiz questions if appropriate. The students return completed forms as they leave the room. The lecturer can then reflect on this feedback and respond to it (without naming names) at the beginning of the next lecture.

Strathclyde staff who use one minute papers often receive nominations for Teaching Excellence Awards which explicitly approve the system. Lecture by lecture, participation is measurable in ink and the system is popular among the students, whose issues are addressed as they go along.

In terms of transferability, there’s nothing to prevent this system being adopted in lectures for other disciplines. All you need is a photocopier. Strathclyde’s case study also notes that it is worth considering whether one minute papers might be adapted to accompany other forms of encounter (homework assignments, tutorials, etc.) to encourage greater reflection.

Strathclyde have typically used the system with classes of around 100 students, and use character scanning technology to scan the forms in bulk. However a paper-based could be adopted effectively without the use of technology and the system requires minimal preparation. As with any system there are pros and cons and the case study covers the successes and challenges and details lessons learned and scalability.

This formative feedback mechanism not only benefits staff through gathering a rich and immediate insight into student understanding, concerns and opinions but also assures students that their voice is heard and that they are shaping their own learning.

See the University website to read the case study on the one minute papers system and view example documents.  The system is featured in the sparqs Resource Library and for further information you can contact Dr Conor McBride from the University’s Department of Computer and Information Sciences – conor.mcbride@strath.ac.uk

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