A qualitative insight into time-poor/grade-hungry health studies students’ perceptions of using assessment criteria and feedback in assignment writing

Joanne Lusher*, Heather Clements, Elaine Stevens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background
Grade-led study and surface-learning approaches compromise student success at undergraduate level. However, encouraging students to adopt deeper approaches to learning can feel like an endless challenge for staff in the current consumerist university climate.

Objective
This study explored undergraduate health studies students’ current use, experiences and perceptions of assessment criteria in relation to their assignment writing and feedback.

Design
Using a qualitative research design, data were collected via focus groups with 18 students then analysed using thematic analysis.

Results
Findings revealed three key themes: Grades as the driver; The dependent learner; and Time-poor sacrifices. Ultimately, students are primarily motivated by grades and this has been reflected in the way they use assessment criteria and feedback. A general lack of autonomy was evident among students’ attitudes towards assessment criteria and feedback and in the way these resources were utilised. Time restrictions for studying was a fundamental issue raised by this study. Students felt they should be offered greater flexibility with meeting deadlines due to balancing competing demands outside of university life.

Conclusion
These findings hope to trigger initiatives that aim to shift time-poor/grade-hungry students’ toward a deeper understanding of what it means to be an effective learner in higher education.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104999
JournalNurse Education Today
Volume104
Early online date5 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • qualitative
  • focus groups
  • health studies students
  • assessment criteria
  • feedback
  • assignment writing
  • autonomy
  • competing demands

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A qualitative insight into time-poor/grade-hungry health studies students’ perceptions of using assessment criteria and feedback in assignment writing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this