Blurring the Boundaries: The Impact of Formative Feedback on Summative Assessment

Lincoln University, New Zealand

Lincoln University, New Zealand


Feedback can have a powerful impact on student learning and achievement. This is particularly the case in formative assessment. However students often underutilise the feedback provided on summative assessment because it does not provide a mechanism for the improvement of the grade. The present research aims to blur the boundaries between formative and summative assessment by introducing a two stage submission process for an essay writing assignment. On the first submission the lecturer provides detailed feedback on a range of criteria and records a shadow grade which is not communicated to the student. After students have addressed the feedback the assignment is resubmitted and the paper is graded. This introduction of a formative aspect to summative assessment enables a quantitative analysis of the relative impact and effectiveness of feedback on student achievement against a range of criteria.

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