Example 10

Actors: Lecturer
Type: Student presentation

David Needham,
Department of Physics, Chemistry & Pharmacy
Faculty of Science

The feedback activity in brief
The Pharmacy students have been working with topics of their own choice from the curriculum, and they have continuously received feedback from the lecturer. The purpose of this feedback activity was for the students to develop independent thinking and prepare them for what is expected of them when they are employed after graduation.

For the students in the master programme in Pharmacy, David chose to teach the course “Advanced doses forms” (5 ECTS points) in a new manner. David wanted to get the students more involved and develop their independent thinking. 

He did this with his “reverse engineering” concept. The objective of this concept is to get the student to question how, why etc. a medicinal product is the way it is. When the students have asked these questions and divided the object into smaller pieces, they can examine if it works as intended, and perhaps they have come up with some new ideas for the field based on what they have learned from this learning activity.
The focus of the teaching was the group presentations to the class. The class had approximately 30 students divided into groups of three students. The students chose their own topics based on a list of topics from the syllabus.

The actual activity and its extent
The feedback activity took three weeks. In the first week the students chose a topic after a brief introduction. The next day they made a short presentation of their topic to the class, where the teacher provided them with feedback on the PowerPoint slides they had prepared. 

In the second week the students had to work more on their assignment and hand-in edited PowerPoint slides. For this they received midterm evaluation and a preliminary grade. This way the students would know how they did and what they could improve. The teacher also gave feedback by commenting each PowerPoint slide for the students to know exactly which slides they had to improve.
During the three weeks the teacher was present at the university to help the students if they had any questions. The teacher also replied to e-mails and spent a lot of time on commenting the PowerPoint presentations.

In week three the groups presented everything they had found. In this way they all gained insight into all the topics on the syllabus. The groups were assessed on the full PowerPoint show (approx. 50-60 slides). They also had to write an essay about what they had learned from the activity, which they were individually assessed on. The final grade was composed by the two assessments.

Experiences and assessment
It is a lot of work for the teacher to provide feedback on the PowerPoint slides and face-to-face. To do the feedback activity properly it is necessary for the teacher to know and have experience with the “reverse-engineering” method. David believes that “reverse engineering” and the feedback activity can be applied to all disciplines and all ages and levels. 

However, the hard work pays off as all of the students worked very hard and were very involved throughout all three weeks. They were excited to get more attention in the teaching activities, and they liked this feedback activity a lot.

The syllabus for this course is very comprehensive, therefore the students were happy to get through the syllabus in a more engaging manner. Several of the students mentioned that they had learned a lot that they would not have learned in a traditional lecture.

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

Suitable for classes of: No more than 30 students per teacher if there is to be room for feedback
Suitable for level: All levels
Suitable for offline, online or both: Both are applied here
Other possible actors: For example peer assessment or supervisor
Is the activity part of an assessment method? No
Is the activity part of the curriculum? No
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: 
David Needham -