College of Life and Environmental Sciences

Assessment and Feedback

Students are concerned about the number of assessments being given and the weightings of these assessments.[1] Students would benefit from having an even spread of assessments so that there are not deadline clashes and assessments are spread more evenly throughout the module, particularly when they have a high weighting.[2] Recent changes to modules and assessments in Sports and Health Sciences have resulted in a positive response from students,[3] therefore this should be taken as best practice across the College.

Students would appreciate higher quality, detailed written feedback on assessments with guidance on how to improve.[4] Students would like assessment deadlines to be spread so they can receive their feedback before having to submit their next assessment, or before they have to sit their exams so that individuals have a better idea of what they need to achieve.[5]

Resources

In order to support students when they are starting University, it would be useful to have a Welcome Pack so that students know what learning resources are available and where they can find them.[6]

Students would benefit from having all available lecture materials uploaded to ELE 24-48 hours in advance of the lecture and for lecture recordings to be uploaded to ELE wherever possible.[7] Sports and Health Sciences are an example of best practice as a large percentage of the lectures are recorded and the lecture slides are always uploaded.[8]

Academic Development

We recommend that students receive an opportunity to get general advice on their academic progress and reflection on their performance across all modules. Students would benefit from support in improving their academic skills such as having general sessions on essay writing.[9] The SSLC for Sports and Health Sciences have said that their department has Student Helpdesk Sessions where PhD students support students in developing academic skills such as statistics, essay writing and referencing. This is very beneficial to them and can be upheld as an example of best practice within CLES.[10]

Office hours are greatly appreciated by students and should be used for academic development across all departments. All office hours should be effectively communicated to ensure that they are utilised effectively, with office hours set aside for dissertation purposes to ensure students get the support that they need.[11]

Employability Opportunities

Employability events in CLES are well received and students would like to see these continue to grow. Week 6 employability events in Biosciences were regarded as a huge success with a high calibre of speakers and waiting lists for attendance, showcasing best practice. Students would like to see events such as these grow, with more employability opportunities focused around ‘science’ based organisations.[12] Students in Cornwall receive specific employability events tailored to them which are very beneficial and should be continued, but should be supplemented by broader employability opportunities.[13]

The experiences of Exeter alumni are seen as beneficial by the students and they would appreciate more chances for Exeter alumni to be involved in employability events.[14] Where employability events are being provided they need to be better communicated to students to increase student engagement with them.[15]


[1] Undergraduate Biosciences Penryn SSLC, February 2015.

[2] Undergraduate Psychology SSLC, February 2015, 9; Geography SSLC feedback Term 1 2015/16.

[3] Sports and Health Sciences SSLC feedback Term 1 2015/16.

[4] Sports and Health Sciences SSLC feedback Term 1 2015/16; Geography SSLC feedback Term 1 2015/16; Geography SSLC, December 2014, 5; Geography NSS data 2014.

[5] Geography SSLC, December 2014, 7; Sports and Health Sciences SSLC feedback Term 1 2015/16.

[6] Undergraduate Psychology SSLC, February 2015, 15.

[7]Postgraduate Biosciences SSLC, November 2014, 6; Undergraduate Biosciences SSLC, November 2014, 5; December 2014, 11; Undergraduate Sports and Health Sciences SSLC, November 2014, 3; February 2015, 7; Geography SSLC feedback Term 1 2015/16.

[8] Sports and Health Sciences SSLC feedback Term 1 2015/16.

[9] Geography SSLC, December 2014, 5; Undergraduate Psychology SSLC, February 2015, 15; Centre for Geography, Environment and Society SSLC, March 2015.

[10] Sports and Health Sciences SSLC Feedback Term 1 2015/16.

[11] Geography SSLC feedback Term 1 2015/16.

[12] Undergraduate Biosciences SSLC, November 2014, 9; May 2015, 9; Postgraduate Biosciences SSLC, November 2014, 10; Undergraduate Sports and Health Sciences SSLC, February 2015, 10; Employability Executive Minutes Term 1 2015/16.

[13] FXU feedback Term 1 2015/16.

[14] Undergraduate Psychology SSLC, February 2015, 13.

[15] Geography SSLC feedback Term 1 2015/16.


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