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Academic Feedback

There are many ways in which you can both receive and give feedback on your academic studies.

College tutorial teaching is intensive by nature and it provides ample opportunities for you to obtain oral and written feedback on your academic performance e.g. during tutorial meetings. If you need any further advice, you should discuss your concerns with your tutor. You are entitled to have essays and problem sheets either marked or commented on every week (or at time intervals agreed with the Faculty or Department).  But note that the University and the College do not prescribe a particular form of marking. Different tutors may use different schemes, some involving numerical marks or class grades, others written comments. Although here is much debate on this (see further sources below), the balance of pedagogic opinion is that qualitative feedback is better than quantitative.  If you have doubts, ask your tutor to explain why they mark and comment in their chosen way.

College Examinations take place normally at the state of term. They are aimed to replicate as far as possible the conditions of a University examination, to help you better prepare. Tutors should mark and return within at least four week, with some comment on how you have done and how you can improve. The rationale for college examinations is accessible from the link on the right.

It is important that you take note of any feedback on essays, problems sheets and examinations as soon as practical; and then act on it.  For example, it can be useful to make a separate note of exactly how you have acted on feedback from one essay when you then write another.

University examinations. There's no direct feedback from University examinations (except in a small number of particular courses); you'll know your overall mark and, increasingly with some subjects, you may learn your mark for individual questions if the exam is leading up to further assessed work, e.g. Prelims. This can be frustrating, and it's all the more reason to use college examinations to full effect.

Termly meeting with your tutors. Once every term, you are entitled to an opportunity to meet with tutors and/or a written report about your progress over the course of the term. All colleges use the web-based on-line tutorial reporting system OxCORT (Oxford Colleges Online Reporting of Tutorials) system. Students may view all tutorial reports online at http://www.oxcort.ox.ac.uk. There you will also find detailed instructions for student users. In order to access your reports on OxCORT you will need your user name (e.g. kebl1234) and password.

Warden’s Collections take place in the Warden’s Lodgings generally during the last Thursday and Friday of each term; times will be displayed on a notice in the Porters’ Lodge. You should expect one such meeting per year. Your subject tutors will report briefly on your progress to the Warden and the Senior Tutor, and you will be given an opportunity to comment.

Tutorial Feedback surveys are conducted regularly. Each term all undergraduates are invited to complete an on-line questionnaire on their tutorials. The purpose of the questionnaire is to help the College to achieve best practice in teaching and in other academic provision. It gives you the chance to communicate back to the College on both good and less satisfactory experiences with your tutors. To achieve these aims, a high response rate is needed, so please make sure that you participate in this exercise. The questionnaire will be anonymous unless you choose otherwise. All responses will be reviewed by the Senior Tutor, who will, where appropriate, discuss the contents with particular tutors. Individual tutors will have the opportunity to see students’ comments about their teaching to enable them to reflect on their own practice. The Senior Tutor also provides a summary of the actions taken to the JCR Academic Affairs Representative.

In addition, you may at any point during the term discuss with the Senior Tutor, in confidence, any concerns that you may have.

The National Student Survey and Student Barometer are annual exercises run by outside companies on behalf of this University and many others worldwide.  The NSS is for final year undergraduates only and the Barometer survey everybody else.  Both provide an opportunity to express your level of satisfaction with a wide range of academic and non-academic matters in your college and department. The results are closely scrutinised and can lead to important changes of policy, so please do participate.

Further information

Formative Assessment and Feedback, Oxford Learning Institute