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Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Communication and the reflective practitioner: a shared perspective from sociolinguistics and organisational communication

Deborah Jones
This paper provides an overview of an interdisciplinary project which draws together sociolinguistic analyses of workplace discourse and recent work in the field of organisational studies. The starting point for this collaboration was a set of questions which arose from attempts to apply the findings of a large-scale sociolinguistic study into workplace language: (i) How can sociolinguistic tools and models generate useful feedback for practitioners and contribute to organisational learning? (ii) How can the understanding researchers have developed of workplace discourse help individuals and teams critically reflect on their own communication practices? (iii) What can the action research process add to our theoretical knowledge about workplace discourse? The authors explore these questions in the context of a number of current issues in the field of organisational studies, including an increasing interest in language and communication; emerging critical perspectives on the notion of competence in workplaces; and debates over the relationships between expert and practitioner knowledges. The concept of ,reflective practice' is presented as a framework to address these issues in the evaluation and development of workplace communication. [source]

Using Role-Play Scenarios in the IR Classroom: An Examination of Exercises on Peacekeeping Operations and Foreign Policy Decision Making

Carolyn M. Shaw
Use of role-play scenarios in the classroom is just one of a number of active learning techniques that are being used more and more frequently to convey the more abstract concepts of international relations (IR) to students in a meaningful way. This paper examines the value of two specific role-play exercises used in an introduction to international relations course on the topics of peacekeeping and foreign policy decision making. The value of such interactive exercises is laid out in a section examining what learning objectives can be achieved by using role-play scenarios. These include promoting student interaction and input, and promoting student curiosity and creativity. The preparations necessary for conducting such an exercise are laid out, followed by a description of the exercises as they were conducted in the classroom. Finally, an assessment of the exercises provides useful feedback on the degree to which specific learning objectives were achieved, and how such exercises can be modified to be even more effective. [source]

A comprehensive and systematic model of user evaluation of Web search engines: II.

An evaluation by undergraduates
This paper presents an application of the model described in Part I to the evaluation of Web search engines by undergraduates. The study observed how 36 undergraduate used four major search engines to find information for their own individual problems and how they evaluated these engines based on actual interaction with the search engines. User evaluation was based on 16 performance measures representing five evaluation criteria: relevance, efficiency, utility, user satisfaction, and connectivity. Non-performance (user-related) measures were also applied. Each participant searched his/her own topic on all four engines and provided satisfaction ratings for system features and interaction and reasons for satisfaction. Each also made relevance judgements of retrieved items in relation to his/her own information need and participated in post-search interviews to provide reactions to the search results and overall performance. The study found significant differences in precision PR1, relative recall, user satisfaction with output display, time saving, value of search results, and overall performance among the four engines and also significant engine by discipline interactions on all these measures. In addition, the study found significant differences in user satisfaction with response time among four engines, and significant engine by discipline interaction in user satisfaction with search interface. None of the four search engines dominated in every aspect of the multidimensional evaluation. Content analysis of verbal data identified a number of user criteria and users evaluative comments based on these criteria. Results from both quantitative analysis and content analysis provide insight for system design and development, and useful feedback on strengths and weaknesses of search engines for system improvement. [source]

Test-taking Strategies of 12- and 13-year-old Hungarian Learners of EFL: Why Whales Have Migraines

Marianne Nikolov
This paper gives an account of a project exploring 12- and 13-year-old children's uses of strategies while solving reading and writing test tasks in English as a foreign language (EFL). The study was conducted to provide insights into how learners go about solving tasks and what they think and rely on while doing them. The first part provides an overview of strategy research and test-taking strategy research. The second part provides the background of the project and describes the 52 participants, the data collection instruments, and the procedures. The discussions include four case studies of two high achievers and two low achievers and explore what role individual differences played, what strategies learners applied, and how the findings have contributed to a better understanding of what we mean by test-taking strategies. This exploratory qualitative study raises several questions. The analyses of the particular strategies and case studies might provide valuable insights into learners' uses of strategies and useful feedback for test designers and teachers. [source]

Early identification of ,at-risk' students by the parents of paediatric patients

Maree O'Keefe
Introduction, Assessment of medical student clinical skills is best carried out using multiple assessment methods. A programme was developed to obtain parent evaluations of medical student paediatric interview skills for feedback and to identify students at risk of poor performance in summative assessments. Method, A total of 130 parent evaluations were obtained for 67 students (parent participation 72%, student participation 58%). Parents completed a 13-item questionnaire [Interpersonal Skills Rating Scale (IPS) maximum score 91, higher scores = higher student skill level]. Students received their individual parent scores and de-identified class mean scores as feedback, and participants were surveyed regarding the programme. Parent evaluation scores were compared with student performance in formative and summative faculty assessments of clinical interview skills. Results, Parents supported the programme and participating students valued parent feedback. Students with a parent score that was less than 1 standard deviation (SD) below the class mean (low IPS score students) obtained lower faculty summative assessment scores than did other students (mean SD, 59% 5 versus 64% 7; P < 0.05). Obtaining 1 low IPS score was associated with a subsequent faculty summative assessment score below the class mean (sensitivity 0.38, specificity 0.88). Parent evaluations combined with faculty formative assessments identified 50% of students who subsequently performed below the class mean in summative assessments. Conclusions, Parent evaluations provided useful feedback to students and identified 1 group of students at increased risk of weaker performance in summative assessments. They could be combined with other methods of formative assessment to enhance screening procedures for clinically weak students. [source]