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What is Focus On?

Each year, we choose a topic for the Focus On project based on findings from Enhancement-led Institutional Review (ELIR). We invite all Scottish higher education institutions and students’ associations to tell us how we can best support them on the topic. This guarantees what we do will be useful and relevant.

Why Feedback from Assessment?

Feedback from Assessment was an area for development in nine reviews in Scotland during the last review cycle. The things the review teams thought could be better were:

  1. timeliness of feedback
  2. helping students to use feedback to understand grades
  3. consistency of feedback across different subject areas
  4. the quality of feedback.

The project

We consulted with Scottish HEIs and students’ associations to see where they thought we should focus our work on feedback. As a result, we worked on how to improve students’ experiences of feedback from assessment. This included work in the following areas:

  1. Feedback from assessment: what do students think?
    What do students think about the feedback they receive? What’s helpful and what isn’t? How can we support  students to engage with feedback? We worked with a wide range of students at all stages of study in a variety  of institution types. We also looked at what the evidence might be telling us (for example evidence from student-led teaching awards and student surveys).
  2. Following up on Feedback: where are we now?
    In 2014-15, we ran a Focus On: Assessment and Feedback project. We looked at how the sector has progressed since then with institution-wide approaches to improving feedback from assessment. We also explored how developments in technology can help to support staff to provide effective feedback.


What does student-led teaching award nomination data tell us about student perceptions of good feedback?

We conducted a project looking at nomination data from University and Student Association teaching awards, to explore what students value about the feedback they receive from assessment. The analysis identified three key themes that were critical to students’ experiences of feedback, and a series of areas for discussion aimed at prompting reflection and development around these themes. We published two reports on the findings of this project and an overview infographic. 

Summary report and areas for discussion - Student-led Teaching Awards

Publication date: 26 Sep 2018

Full research report - Student-led Teaching Awards

Publication date: 26 Sep 2018

Single page overview - Student-led Teaching Awards

Publication date: 26 Sep 2018


We produced three Feedback from Assessment films exploring the following topics: 

  1. Sector progress and the future for feedback
  2. What do staff and students say about feedback?
  3. How can we use technology effectively to improve feedback? What works? Staff and students give their views.

Our leaflet provides further information about the films including the details of the contributors.

Leaflet: Feedback from Assessment film descriptions

Publication date: 26 Sep 2018

Event, webinars and Twitterchat

In March 2018, we held an event with staff and students from Scottish institutions and colleagues from the school sector. This provided an opportunity to shared their practice on, ‘What's worked and what hasn't? (2013-2017). We have published all resources from this event below.

We ran four webinars on topics identified as areas of interest by delegates at the sharing practice event. Recordings of the webinars are available to watch on a YouTube playlist. We hosted a Twitterchat using the hashtag #unifeedbackready. You can view the conversation in our Twitter moment.

Further information

Focus On: Feedback from Assessment Leaflet

Publication date: 08 Aug 2018

Want to know more?

We include information on assessment and feedback in Enhancement-led Institutional Review (ELIR) reports. If you would like further information or would like to be added to the Focus On mailing list, please email QAA Scotland.

Assessment and Feedback: Thematic Report on ELIR Reports 2013-16

Publication date: 11 Jul 2017