'Make Assessment Count'

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Professor Gunter Saunders from the University of Westminster presented ‘Making Assessment Count (MAC)’ in this week’s online eAssessment conference held from the 19th August till the 30th August.

The MAC project’s original objective was to help students get more from their marked work and they broke feedback down into the three stage process SOS to do so.



Coursework was marked then feedback was returned. Fundamentally it doesn’t matter which kind of feedback it is but in this project they used written coursework submitted on paper with handwritten feedback.


The students were asked to complete one of the self-review questionnaires using the system e-Reflect. This system produces a feedback report for the student.


The student then visits their tutor after looking at the feedback report and reflecting on it. This tied into the personal tutoring system at the institution.

There was a lot of positive evidence after surveys and focus groups of students who had tried MAC that showed how it made their use of feedback much more effective. The students also found that taking their feedback report to their personal tutor gave them a good reason to approach the tutor and ask about certain problems with their work that they wouldn’t have done otherwise.

The self-review questions are now also being used before a hand-in to get students to think about how well prepared they are and if any other developments are needed before submitting that piece of work.

Workload for the tutors was a worry for some but six other institutions have used it. Four of those have reported good results and the other two are still in the early stages. For some where workload was a problem the self-review report can also be used for students to share with their peers to acknowledge and use their feedback.

It wouldn’t be realistic to think that MAC would work the same way across all subjects at Loughborough University but the principle of self-review and talking through the feedback with a personal tutor is key here. It is something that some at Loughborough already do but perhaps there are more that could.