Example 1

Actors: Self-assessment, peer assessment, lecturer
Type: Solving assignment, portfolio

Majbritt Ursula Johansen, 
Research Librarian
University of Southern Denmark, SDU
Hans Lund,
Associate professor, Director of Studies
Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics
Faculty of Health Sciences, SDU

The feedback activity in brief
This feedback activity is a tool for literature search with self-assessment. The purpose of the activity is to teach the students to use the tool and perform self-assessment according to it, which will gradually improve their abilities to perform an academic literature search.

The tool has been applied as part of the teaching activities regarding literature search in the course Scientific Methods at the Faculty of Health Sciences. Students in psychology, physiotherapy, sports science and chiropractic are some of the students who have tried this literature search tool. The teachers hope that the tool will be disseminated to other faculties with minor modifications that suit the specific discipline.

Generally, the classes have 30-45 students, which makes it possible to walk around and assist the students, e.g. during a workshop. However, the tool can also be applied in larger classes. The students can be bachelor students, master students or even PhD students, but first semester students are likely to be too inexperienced to accept this tool.

The actual activity and its extent
The tool explains how the students should approach a literature search. It shows them each step in the process, and it continually provides the students with the opportunity to self-assess and improve the search process.

Generally, the students are taught how to use this tool for 3 x 2 lessons. The students need to have a computer on which to do the literature search. In the beginning, the tool is explained for two hours, including a small workshop where the students get a task, and the teacher walks around and assists them. Next, the students get a take home assignment, which they have to prepare for the next class, where some of the assignments are covered. In the last two lessons the students give each other feedback, and the teacher also provides feedback to the students. The objective is to teach the students to assess themselves and optimise the use of the tool.

The tool is expected to be available online during 2014. After that the students can save their entire search process in a portfolio throughout their education. Such a portfolio is a continuous learning method, as the students can see what progress they have made, and what they did to improve each time. Additionally, it will be easier to perform peer assessment and easier for the teacher to provide the students with feedback on their portfolios, when the tool is available online.

Experiences and assessment
So far, the tool has been tested on 400 students. Generally, they are very pleased with the tool, and they can see the usefulness of it. The opportunity of continually assessing oneself during the literature search facilitates better results and prevents getting stuck during the process. Majbritt and Hans hope that the tool will be disseminated to other disciplines and faculties.

Evaluation: in which contexts will you recommend this feedback activity?

Suitable for classes of: All – but maximum 30-45 students if you want to do workshops and have time to assist everyone
Suitable for level: Bachelor, master and PhD students. Not first semester bachelor students (they are too new)
Suitable for offline, online or both: Feedback is given offline, but the students need online access during the lessons. The tool is available online in 2014
Other possible actors: Peer assessment and the teacher in the longer run regarding the portfolio 
Is the activity part of an assessment method?

Yes: in physiotherapy and the master programme in Sports Science
No: not in all bachelor programmes in Sports Science, chiropractic etc.

Is the activity part of the curriculum? Not outright as a feedback activity, but the students should develop their self-assessment process with the tool, since they according to the curriculum must perform information search and evaluate the relevance of what they find
References: No


For more information about VUF please contact:
SDU Centre for Teaching and Learning - Rie Troelsen -

For more information about this feedback activity please contact: 
Hans Lund -