Dr Naomi Winstone PFHEA NTF


Head of Department, Reader
BSc(Hons) MSc PhD GradCert
+44 (0)1483 684391
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Academic and research departments

Department of Higher Education.

Biography

Areas of specialism

Cognition and Learning; Assessment and Feedback

University roles and responsibilities

  • Director, Surrey Assessment and Learning Lab
  • Head of the Department of Higher Education

Previous roles

2009 - 2016
Lecturer in Cognitive and Educational Psychology
School of Psychology, University of Surrey
2013 - 2014
Director of Undergraduate Studies
School of Psychology, University of Surrey
2014 - 2015
Director of Learning and Teaching
School of Psychology, University of Surrey
2015 - 2016
Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching)
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey

Affiliations and memberships

Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Awarded 2020
Honorary Associate Professor
Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning, Deakin University, Australia

Research

Research interests

Research projects

Research collaborations

Indicators of esteem

  • American Psychological Association, Division 15 (Educational Psychology)

    2017 Outstanding Article Award

    Naomi E. Winstone, Robert A. Nash, Michael Parker, & James Rowntree

     

    Supporting learners’ agentic engagement with feedback: A systematic review and a taxonomy of recipience processes.

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00461520.2016.1207538

Supervision

Postgraduate research supervision

Postgraduate research supervision

My teaching

My publications

Highlights

Winstone, N. E., & Boud, D. (2019). Exploring cultures of feedback practice: The adoption of learning-focused feedback practices in the UK and Australia. Higher Education Research and Development, 38(2), 411-425.

Winstone, N. E., & Carless, D. (2019). Designing effective feedback processes in higher education: A learning-focused approach. London: Routledge.

Nash, R. A., Winstone, N. E., Gregory, S. E. A., & Papps, E. (2018). A memory advantage for past-oriented over future-oriented performance feedback. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 44(12), 1864-1879.

Winstone, N. E., Nash., R., Parker, M., &  Rowntree, J. (2017). Supporting learners’ engagement with feedback: A systematic review and a taxonomy of recipience processes. Educational Psychologist, 52, 17-37. [WINNER OF AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION DIVISION 15 ‘BEST ARTICLE’ AWARD 2017]

Winstone, N. E., Nash, R., Rowntree, J., & Parker, M. (2017). “It’d be useful, but I wouldn’t use it”. Barriers to University students’ feedback seeking and recipience. Studies in Higher Education, 42(11), 2026-2041.

Publications

Winstone, N., & Millward, L. (2012). The value of peers and support from scaffolding: Applying constructivist principles to the teaching of psychology. Psychology Teaching Review,18(2), 59-67.
View abstract View full publication
The legacy and sustainability of a university education requires student independence and ownership of learning. Adopting a student-centred constructivist approach to teaching and learning allows students to develop a web of self-constructed, interconnected understanding, and supports their development into lifelong learners. The efficacy of this approach is illustrated with a case study relating to a series of academic skills tutorials for first-year psychology students. The tutorial materials, activities and teaching techniques were rated as more useful by students when delivered using constructivist principles. The use of constructivist techniques also enabled students to make larger gains in their essay grades over the course of the academic year. The implications of using such teaching methods in higher education are discussed.
Winstone, N., & Millward, L (2012). Reframing perceptions of the lecture from challenges to opportunities: Embedding active learning and formative assessment into the teaching of large classes. Psychology Teaching Review, 18(2), 31-41.
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Teaching and assessing large classes can be reframed from focusing on overcoming difficulties with large classes, to seeking the unique educational opportunities provided by such learning environments. We discuss data and examples illustrating how active learning and formative assessment can be successfully embedded into the teaching of large groups. Students evaluated these approaches favourably, and recognised that their own learning was enhanced through being active participants in lectures and having opportunities to receive feedback on their understanding within lectures. Furthermore, the experiences of teaching staff using these techniques were found to be largely positive, demonstrating awareness of the benefits for students as well as benefits for their own engagement and development. These data suggest that if we find the unique opportunities for learning afforded by large groups, the lecture has the potential to become a powerful learning environment
Winstone, N., & Bretton, H. (2013). Strengthening the transition to University by confronting the expectation-reality gap in Psychology Undergraduates. Psychology Teaching Review,19(2), 2-14
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In negotiating the transition to Higher Education, students bring core expectations from their A-level study that are likely to be different to the lived reality of university study. Bridging the transition to university requires an in-depth understanding of the differences between the imagined and the reality; the expectations and the experience. Psychology students’ perspectives of their first-year experiences were collected through activity-oriented focus groups (Colucci, 2007). Discrepancies between expectations and reality were expressed in terms of the degree of autonomy required, the nature of ‘the lecture’, and achievement. In many cases, students displayed contradictory perspectives, desiring autonomy but also wanting the security of the more dependent approach to learning they have been socialised into. It is suggested that first-year students are passing through a key period of transition, and during this period of ‘liminality’ they are attempting to leave one identity behind and instead inhabit a new, more autonomous identity
Winstone, N., Millward, L., Huntington, C., Goldsack, L., & Kyrou, E. (2014). Eliciting rich dialogue through the use of activity-oriented interviews with autistic young people. Childhood, 21(2), 190-206
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The ability of children and young people to form and express their perspectives through qualitative research studies can be constrained by difficulties that they can face in typical interview situations. This article describes and evaluates an interview method using concrete and engaging activities designed to enable autistic young people to voice their abilities and perspectives. Participants’ sense of self-identity was explored using traditional semi-structured interviews and novel activity-oriented interviews. The latter method provided a context within which autistic young people were better able to voice their perspectives. The efficacy of this method and considerations for its use are discussed.
Scarborough, P., Hodgkins, C., Raats, M., Harrington, R., Cowburn, G., Dean, M., Doherty, A., Foster, C., Juszczak, E., Matthews, A., Mizdrak, A., Ni Mhurchu, C., Shepherd, D., Tiomotijevic, L., Winstone, N., & Rayner, M. (2015). Protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial of an intervention to increase the use of traffic light food labelling in UK shoppers (the FLICC trial). BMC Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 1:21.
View abstract View full publication
Traffic light labelling of foods—a system that incorporates a colour-coded assessment of the level of total fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt on the front of packaged foods—has been recommended by the UK Government and is currently in use or being phased in by many UK manufacturers and retailers. This paper describes a protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial of an intervention designed to increase the use of traffic light labelling during real-life food purchase decisions. The objectives of this two-arm randomised controlled pilot trial are to assess recruitment, retention and data completion rates, to generate potential effect size estimates to inform sample size calculations for the main trial and to assess the feasibility of conducting such a trial. Participants will be recruited by email from a loyalty card database of a UK supermarket chain. Eligible participants will be over 18 and regular shoppers who frequently purchase ready meals or pizzas. The intervention is informed by a review of previous interventions encouraging the use of nutrition labelling and the broader behaviour change literature. It is designed to impact on mechanisms affecting belief and behavioural intention formation as well as those associated with planning and goal setting and the adoption and maintenance of the behaviour of interest, namely traffic light label use during purchases of ready meals and pizzas. Data will be collected using electronic sales data via supermarket loyalty cards and web-based questionnaires and will be used to estimate the effect of the intervention on the nutrition profile of purchased ready meals and pizzas and the behavioural mechanisms associated with label use. Data collection will take place over 48 weeks. A process evaluation including semi-structured interviews and web analytics will be conducted to assess feasibility of a full trial. The design of the pilot trial allows for efficient recruitment and data collection. The intervention could be generalised to a wider population if shown to be feasible in the main trial.

Background

Methods/design

Discussion

Winstone, N., & Witherspoon, K. (2016). “It’s all about our great Queen”: The British National Anthem and National Identity in 8- to 10-year-old children. Psychology of Music, 44(2), 263-277.
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National anthems are salient representations of nation states, used to define social and personal boundaries (Folkestad, 2002). Whilst children develop knowledge of national symbols such as national anthems by the age of 5 (Jahoda, 1963), little is known about how a national anthem contributes to a sense of national identity, or the affective reactions elicited by hearing it. Two exploratory studies investigated 8–10-year-old children’s ( = 92) thoughts, feelings and associations when listening to the British National Anthem, in comparison to pieces of music varying in their degree of national salience. The 10-year-old children generated more national associations to the National Anthem than younger children. More national associations were generated to the National Anthem by children with high, as opposed to low, national identity, but only for the 9- and 10-year-old children. It is argued that the National Anthem might play a role in the maintenance and validation of national identity, but that there are developmental effects operating within this relationship.
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Winstone, N., Nash, R., Menezes, R., & Rowntree, J. (2016). What do students want most from feedback information? Distinguishing necessities from luxuries using a budgeting methodology. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 41(8), 1237-1253.
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Feedback is a key concern for higher education practitioners, yet there is little evidence concerning the aspects of assessment feedback information that higher education students prioritise when their lecturers’ time and resources are stretched. One recent study found that, in such circumstances, students actually perceive feedback information itself as a luxury rather than a necessity. We first re-examined that finding by asking undergraduates to ‘purchase’ characteristics to create the ideal lecturer, using budgets of differing sizes to distinguish necessities from luxuries. Contrary to the earlier research, students in fact considered good feedback information the single biggest necessity for lecturers to demonstrate. In a second study, we used the same method to examine the characteristics of feedback information that students value most. Here, the most important perceived necessity was guidance on improvement of skills. In both studies, students’ priorities were influenced by their individual approaches to learning. These findings permit a more pragmatic approach to building student satisfaction in spite of growing expectations and demands.
Winstone, N. E., & Nash, R. A. (2016). The Developing Engagement with Feedback Toolkit. York, UK: Higher Education Academy.
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Feedback is one of the most powerful influences on students’ learning. There is a strong evidence base on effective of feedback: what it should contain and how it should be framed. However, we know far less about students’  of feedback information. If we want students to engage with and utilise the feedback we provide, then what skills do they need, and how do we nurture these skills? In this resource, we first outline some of the key contemporary issues facing Higher Education practitioners in the domains of assessment and feedback, and we consider the role and responsibility of the student in the feedback process. We then present a case study, which outlines the development and implementation of the . Finally we present each component of the toolkit in turn: a feedback guide, a feedback portfolio, and a feedback workshop.  
delivery receptionDeveloping Engagement with Feedback Toolkit (DEFT)
Parker, M., & Winstone, N. (2016). Students’ perceptions of interventions for supporting their engagement with feedback. Practitioner Research in Higher Education. 10(1), 53-64.
View abstract View full publication
Recent approaches to assessment and feedback in higher education stress the importance of students’ involvement in these processes, where effective reception of feedback is as important as effective delivery. Many interventions have been developed to support students’ active use of feedback; however, students’ engagement will be influenced by their perceptions of the utility of such strategies. We presented students with descriptions of ten possible feedback engagement interventions, and asked them to discuss which would be more useful and why. Students clearly articulated the perceived benefits of each intervention, but also discussed issues that might preclude strong engagement. These issues illustrate that students believe they lack the skills required to engage with interventions, and also show how student emotion and cognition are likely to influence their engagement. We offer some recommendations as to how the framing of such interventions could promote stronger student engagement.
Kinchin, I. M., Alpay, E., Curtis, K., Franklin, J., Rivers, C., & Winstone, N. (2016). Charting the elements of pedagogic frailty. Educational Research, 58(1), 1 – 23.
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 The concept of pedagogic frailty has been proposed as a unifying concept that may help to integrate institutional efforts to enhance teaching improvement within universities by helping to maintain a simultaneous focus on four key areas that are thought to impede development.  The variation in internal structure of the four dimensions of pedagogic frailty and the links that have been proposed to connect them are explored here through the analysis of interviews with academics working in a variety of disciplinary areas.  The application of concept map-mediated interviews allows us to view the variable connections within and between these dimensions and the personal ways they are conceptualised by academics working across the heterogeneous university context.  The data show that academics conceptualise the discourse of teaching in various ways that have implications for the links that may be developed to integrate the elements within the model.  Whilst the form and content of the maps representing dimensions of the pedagogic frailty model exhibit considerable variation, it is suggested that factors such as academic resilience and the explicit use of integrative concepts within disciplines may help to overcome some of the vulnerabilities that accompany pedagogic frailty. The data also raises questions about the links between factors that tend to be under individual control and those that tend towards institutional control.
Background:Purpose:Methods:Results:Conclusions:
Cook, A., Ogden, J., & Winstone, N. (2016). The experiences of learning, friendships and bullying of boys with autism in mainstream and special school settings. British Journal of Special Education, 43(3), 250-271.
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This study aimed to explore experiences of learning, friendships and bullying of boys with autism attending specialist and mainstream schools, and those of their parents. Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with 11 boys with autism, aged 11 to 17 years, and nine of their mothers. Thematic analysis identified four key themes relating to experiences of friendships and bullying, risk factors, protective factors and outcomes. Overall, the findings indicated that five of the 11 participants had been subjected to bullying, particularly those in mainstream schools (four out of six). Further, if risk factors relating to autism or the school culture were not mediated by protective factors such as self‐esteem or supportive friends, various negative outcomes were identified as more likely, including mental health issues and effects on learning and relationships. Therefore, although not inevitable, mainstream settings may increase the likelihood of negative experiences, as they have fewer resources to protect children against the risk of bullying.
Winstone, N., Nash, R., Rowntree, J., & Parker, M. (2017). “It’d be useful, but I wouldn’t use it”. Barriers to University students’ feedback seeking and recipience. Studies in Higher Education, 42(11), 2026-2041.
View abstract View full publication
For feedback to be effective, it must be used by the receiver. Prior research has outlined numerous reasons why students’ use of feedback is sometimes limited, but there has been little systematic exploration of these barriers. In 11 activity-oriented focus groups, 31 undergraduate Psychology students discussed how they use assessment feedback. The data revealed many barriers that inhibit use of feedback, ranging from students’ difficulties with decoding terminology, to their unwillingness to expend effort. Thematic analysis identified four underlying psychological processes:  and  We argue that these processes should be considered when designing interventions to encourage students’ engagement with feedback. Whereas the barriers identified could all in principle be removed, we propose that doing so would typically require – or would at least benefit from – a sharing of responsibility between teacher and student. The data highlight the importance of training students to be proactive receivers of feedback.
awareness, cognisance, agency,volition.
Winstone, N., Nash., R., Parker, M., & Rowntree, J. (2017). Supporting learners’ engagement with feedback: A systematic review and a taxonomy of recipience processes. Educational Psychologist, 52, 17-37.
View abstract View full publication
Much has been written in the educational psychology literature about effective feedback and how to deliver it. However, it is equally important to understand how learners actively receive, engage with, and implement feedback. This article reports a systematic review of the research evidence pertaining to this issue. Through an analysis of 195 outputs published between 1985 and early 2014, we identified various factors that have been proposed to influence the likelihood of feedback being used. Furthermore, we identified diverse interventions with the common aim of supporting and promoting learners' agentic engagement with feedback processes. We outline the various components used in these interventions, and the reports of their successes and limitations. Moreover we propose a novel taxonomy of four recipience processes targeted by these interventions. This review and taxonomy provide a theoretical basis for conceptualizing learners' responsibility within feedback dialogues and for guiding the strategic design and evaluation of interventions.
Winstone, N., & Moore, D. (2017). Sometimes fish, sometimes fowl? Liminality, identity work and identity malleability in Graduate Teaching Assistants. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 54(5), 494-502.
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Graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) have been described as being ‘neither fish nor fowl’, occupying a role between student and teacher. Their multiple identities are commonly framed within the literature as a key challenge. This study explored the perspectives of GTAs when discussing their teaching work, through activity-oriented focus groups with nine GTAs from a UK university. Thematic analysis revealed that whilst GTAs showed a lack of clarity over their identity, they are actively involved in the process of ‘identity work’ through negotiating an emerging professional identity. Furthermore, liminality of status, being neither fully a student nor teacher, allows GTAs to operate with identity malleability, adjusting their most salient identity to meet the demands of the situation. It is argued that rather than occupying an ‘ambiguous niche’, GTAs occupy a ‘unique niche’ and the identity malleability they possess affords the optimum conditions in which to engage in identity work.
Winstone, N. E., & Kinchin, I. M. (2017). Teaching sensitive topics: Psychological literacy as an antidote to pedagogic frailty. Psychology Teaching Review, 23(1), 15-29.
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Many topics within the psychology curriculum can be described as "sensitive", with potential for students to experience distress and discomfort. Given the pressure experienced by academics in Higher Education, the potential for student distress or complaints might lead lecturers to adopt a risk-averse approach to teaching, which is well represented by the concept of Pedagogic Frailty (Kinchin et al., 2016). Through interviews with nine psychology lecturers, we uncover the common concerns that arise when teaching sensitive topics, and the strategies employed to overcome these concerns. We also suggest that where teaching is strongly influenced by the values underpinning Psychological Literacy, those teaching sensitive topics may be less vulnerable to the characteristics of Pedagogic Frailty, as the risks associated with the teaching of sensitive topics are offset by the perceived importance of exposing students to sensitive topics. The implications for the teaching of psychology are discussed.
Nash, R. A., & Winstone, N. E. (2017). Responsibility sharing in the giving and receiving of assessment feedback. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1519.
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Many argue that effective learning requires students to take a substantial share of responsibility for their academic development, complementing the responsibilities taken by their educators. Yet this notion of responsibility-sharing receives minimal discussion in the context of assessment feedback, where responsibility for enhancing learning is often framed as lying principally with educators. Developing discussion on this issue is critical: many barriers can prevent students from engaging meaningfully with feedback, but neither educators nor students are fully empowered to remove these barriers without collaboration. In this discussion paper we argue that a culture of responsibility-sharing in the giving and receiving of feedback is essential, both for ensuring that feedback genuinely benefits students by virtue of their skilled and proactive engagement, and also for ensuring the sustainability of educators' effective feedback practices. We propose some assumptions that should underpin such a culture, and we consider the practicalities of engendering this cultural shift within modern higher education.
Hulme, J. A., & Winstone, N. E. (2017). Do no harm: Risk aversion versus risk management in the context of pedagogic frailty. Knowledge Management and E-Learning, 9(3), 153-169.
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Innovation in teaching ensures that education remains fit for purpose in a changing world. The model of pedagogic frailty proposes that educators may perceive innovation as risky, which may inhibit innovation, and thus reduce opportunities to update learning experiences. Within psychology, psychological literacy (the skills, knowledge and attributes acquired as outcomes of studying psychology) is becoming increasingly central to the curriculum. Educators are teaching more applied psychology, which requires new pedagogic approaches and are adopting and modelling core professional values espoused as components of psychological literacy, including evidence-based practice, ethics, and professional competence. We argue that psychology educators (and those from other disciplines) may assess the risk of innovation through the lenses of these professional values. The decision to maintain ‘safe’ practices may reflect a risk management approach, rather than frailty. We propose a model whereby frailty may depend on social context and risk in different educational circumstances. The professional values associated with psychological literacy and similar integrative disciplinary constructs, which at first seem to hinder innovation, may promote innovation which is creative and safe, and will facilitate the development of a rigorous evidence base to inform future practice. 
Pitt, E., & Winstone, N (2018). The impact of anonymous marking on students’ perceptions of fairness, feedback, and relationships with lecturers. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 43, 1183-1193.
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Anonymity in marking is a contentious issue within higher education. Conflicting research findings have identified issues surrounding gender bias, ethnicity bias and fairness in marking. However, the effects of anonymity upon feedback mechanisms have not been systematically explored. This study sought to understand the effects of anonymous marking and feedback upon students’ perceptions of its potential for future learning and relationship building with their lecturers. First year United Kingdom undergraduate business, politics, pharmacy and french students experienced anonymous and non-anonymous marking of coursework across different modules. Student performance data were collected, and a survey was administered following the completion of their modules. Results revealed that anonymous marking did not seem to advantage or disadvantage particular groups of students in terms of grade outcome. There was no significant difference in perceptions of fairness according to whether or not marking was anonymous. Furthermore, the results suggest that anonymous marking might undermine the learning potential of feedback, and minimise the strength of the relationship between lecturers and students, which may minimise the role of dialogue in the feedback process.
Nash, R. A., Winstone, N. E., Gregory, S. E. A., & Papps, E. (2018). A memory advantage for past-oriented over future-oriented performance feedback. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 44, 1864-1879.
View abstract View full publication
People frequently receive performance feedback that describes how well they achieved in the past, and how they could improve in future. In educational contexts, future-oriented (directive) feedback is often argued to be more valuable to learners than past-oriented (evaluative) feedback; critically, prior research led us to predict that it should also be better remembered. We tested this prediction in six experiments. Subjects read written feedback containing evaluative and directive comments, which supposedly related to essays they had previously written (Experiments 1–2), or to essays another person had written (Experiments 3–6). Subjects then tried to reproduce the feedback from memory after a short delay. In all six experiments, the data strongly revealed the opposite effect to the one we predicted: despite only small differences in wording, evaluative feedback was in fact recalled consistently better than directive feedback. Furthermore, even when adult subjects did recall directive feedback, they frequently misremembered it in an evaluative style. These findings appear at odds with the position that being oriented toward the future is advantageous to memory. They also raise important questions about the possible behavioral effects and generalizability of such biases, in terms of students’ academic performance.
Cook, A., Ogden, J., & Winstone, N. (2018). Friendship motivations, challenges, and the role of masking for girls with autism in contrasting school settings. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 33, 302-315.
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To date little is known about the experiences of girls with autism, or how they live with and manage their autism. This qualitative study explored experiences of learning, friendships and bullying of girls with autism. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 girls with autism, aged 11–17 years, and one parent of each girl. Thematic analysis identified key themes relating to motivation to have friends, challenges for girls with autism and the notion that many girls tend to mask their autism, which had both positive and negative consequences. Overall, the girls were motivated to have friends, but often encountered social difficulties and were sometimes targeted for bullying. Findings pointed to the need for interventions such as staff training and programmes to support the social interaction of girls with autism based on their specific perceptions of friendship.
Davis, A., & Winstone, N. (2017). Educational Implications. In A. Slater & G. Bremner (Eds.), An Introduction to Developmental Psychology (3rd ed.). Wiley.
Kinchin, I. M., & Winstone, N. E. (2017). Pedagogic Frailty: Opportunities and challenges. In I. M. Kinchin and N.E. Winstone (Eds.), Pedagogic Frailty and Resilience in the University (pp. 211-225). Rotterdam: Sense.
Winstone, N.E. (2017). The three ‘R’s’ of pedagogic frailty: Risk, Resilience and Reward. In I. M. Kinchin and N.E. Winstone (Eds.), Pedagogic Frailty and Resilience in the University (pp. 33-48). Rotterdam: Sense.
Winstone, N. E., & Avery, R. A. (2018). Enhancing Psychology students’ employability through ‘Practice to theory’ learning following a Professional Training Year. In D. Morley (Ed.), Enhancing employability in higher education through work based learning (pp. 213-233). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Winstone, N. E., & Hulme, J. A. (2017). Integrative disciplinary concepts: The case of Psychological Literacy. In I. M. Kinchin and N.E. Winstone (Eds.), Pedagogic Frailty and Resilience in the University (pp. 93-107). Rotterdam: Sense.
Gravett, K., & Winstone, N. E. (2019). Feedback interpreters: the role of learning development professionals in facilitating university students’ engagement with feedback. Teaching in Higher Education, 24, 723-738.
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Understanding how students engage with assessment feedback is a key concern of higher education professionals. Research commonly represents the perspectives of students and academic staff, yet little consideration is given to the role of learning development staff, despite these individuals supporting students when interpreting and implementing feedback. We report the findings from interviews with learning developers working in a UK University, exploring their insights into the barriers students confront when engaging with feedback, and into the role of learning developers within the feedback landscape. This study suggests that, while many challenges exist for staff and students in the context of assessment feedback, learning development professionals are able to provide a meaningful source of guidance, in partnership with academic staff, and are able to promote students’ development through dialogic interactions. Hitherto these interactions have not been fully explored, yet they provide powerful insight into the hidden processes of feedback recipience.
Winstone, N. E., & Boud, D. (2019). Exploring cultures of feedback practice: the adoption of learning-focused feedback practices in the UK and Australia. Higher Education Research and Development, 38(2), 411-425.
View abstract View full publication
In recent years, there have been calls in the literature for the dominant model of feedback to shift away from the transmission of comments from marker to student, towards a more dialogic focus on student engagement and the impact of feedback on student learning. In the present study, we sought to gain insight into the extent to which such a shift is evident in practice, and how practice is shaped by national and disciplinary cultures. A total of 688 higher education staff from the UK and Australia completed a survey, in which we collected data pertaining to key influences on the design of feedback, and the extent to which emphasis is placed on student action following feedback. Our respondents reported that formal learning and development opportunities have less influence on feedback practice than informal learning and development, and prior experience. Australian respondents placed greater emphasis on student action following feedback than their counterparts in the UK, and were also more likely than UK respondents to judge the effectiveness of feedback by seeking evidence of its impact on student learning. We contextualise these findings within the context of disciplinary and career stage differences in our data. By demonstrating international differences in the adoption of learning-focused feedback practices, the findings indicate directions for the advancement of feedback research and practice in contemporary higher education.
Kinchin, I.,Heron, M., Hosein, A., Lygo-Baker, S., Medland, E., Morley, D., & WInstone, N. (2018). Researcher-led academic development. International Journal for Academic Development, 23, 339-354.
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In this study, members of a higher education department explore their research activity and how it influences their practice as academic developers in a research-led institution. While the research activities of the team members appear diverse, they are all underpinned by a shared set of professional values to provide an anchor for these activities. Research-as-pedagogy and the relationship between the discourses of research and teaching are explored using Bernstein’s knowledge structures. The authors conclude that differences in research focus (horizontal discourse) provide dynamism across a department and that stability is provided through the underpinning core values inherent in the vertical discourse.
Cook, A., Ogden, J., & Winstone, N. (2019). The impact of a school-based musical contact intervention on prosocial attitudes, emotions and behaviours: A pilot trial with autistic and neurotypical children. Autism, 23(4), 933-942.
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Children with autism are more likely to be socially excluded than their neurotypical peers. Since the majority of children with autism attend mainstream schools, interventions are needed to improve the attitudes and behaviours of their peers. Many studies highlight the influence of contact on positive attitudes and reduced discrimination. Group music-making provides an ideal opportunity for positive contact to occur in the classroom. This study evaluated the impact of music-based contact with autistic peers on the attitudes, emotions and behaviours of neurotypical children. Changes in those with autism were also assessed. Neurotypical participants ( = 55) aged 10–11 years took part in an 11-week music programme designed to increase social interaction, which either did or did not include contact with autistic children ( = 10). Measures of attitudes, emotions and behaviours were assessed at baseline and follow-up. In response to a hypothetical scenario depicting social exclusion of a child with autism, neurotypical participants in the contact group showed a greater increase in prosocial emotions and a greater decrease in tendency to be a victim than those in the no-contact group. Participants with autism also showed a 19.7% decrease in victimisation. Implications of group music-making for tackling social exclusion of children with autism are discussed.
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Balloo, K., Evans, C., Hughes, A., Zhu, X., & Winstone, N. (2017). Transparency isn't spoon-feeding: How a transformative approach to the use of explicit assessment criteria can support student self-regulation. Frontiers in Education.
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If little care is taken when establishing clear assessment requirements, there is the potential for spoon-feeding. However, in this conceptual article we argue that transparency in assessment is essential to providing equality of opportunity and promoting students’ self-regulatory capacity. We begin by showing how a research-informed inclusive pedagogy, the EAT Framework, can be used to improve assessment practices to ensure that the purposes, processes, and requirements of assessment are clear and explicit to students. The EAT Framework foregrounds how students’ and teachers’ conceptions of learning (i.e., whether one has a transactional or transformative conception of learning within a specific context) impact assessment practices. In this article, we highlight the importance of being explicit in promoting access to learning, and in referencing the EAT Framework, the importance of developing transformative rather than transactional approaches to being explicit. Firstly, we discuss how transparency in the assessment process could lead to “criteria compliance” (Torrance, 2007, p. 282) and learner instrumentalism if a transactional approach to transparency, involving high external regulation, is used. Importantly, we highlight how explicit assessment criteria can hinder learner autonomy if paired with an over-reliance on criteria-focused ‘coaching’ from teachers. We then address how ‘being explicit with assessment’ does not constitute spoon-feeding when used to promote understanding of assessment practices, and the application of deeper approaches to learning as an integral component of an inclusive learning environment. We then provide evidence on how explicit assessment criteria allow students to self-assess as part of self-regulation, noting that explicit criteria may be more effective when drawing on a transformative approach to transparency, which acknowledges the importance of transparent and mutual student-teacher communications about assessment requirements. We conclude by providing recommendations to teachers and students about how explicit assessment criteria can be used to improve students’ learning. Through an emphasis on transparency of process, clarity of roles, and explication of what constitutes quality within a specific discipline, underpinned by a transformative approach, students and teachers should be better equipped to self-manage their own learning and teaching.
Kinchin, I. M., & Winstone, N. E. (2018). Exploring pedagogic frailty in practice. In I.M. Kinchin and N.E. Winstone (Eds.), Exploring pedagogic frailty and resilience: case studies of academic narrative (pp. 1-15). Leiden: Brill.
Winstone, N.E., & Kinchin, I.M. (2018). Pedagogic frailty and resilience in context. In I.M. Kinchin and N.E. Winstone (Eds.), Exploring pedagogic frailty and resilience: case studies of academic narrative (pp. 205-220). Leiden: Brill.
Winstone, N., & Carless, D. (2019). Designing effective feedback processes in higher education: A learning-focused approach. London: Routledge.
Winstone, N.E., Mathlin, G., & Nash, R. A. (2019). Building feedback literacy: Students' perceptions of the Developing Engagement with Feedback Toolkit. Frontiers in Education.
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Developing the requisite skills for engaging proactively with feedback is crucial for academic success. This paper reports data concerning the perceived usefulness of the  in supporting the development of students' feedback literacy skills. In Study 1, student participants were surveyed about their use of feedback, and their perceptions of the utility of the DEFT resources. In Study 2, students discussed the resources in focus groups. Study 3 compared students' responses on a measure of feedback literacy before and after they completed a DEFT feedback workshop. Participants perceived the DEFT favorably, and the data indicate that such resources may enhance students' general feedback literacy. However, the data raise questions about when such an intervention would be of greatest value to students, the extent to which students would or should engage voluntarily, and whether it would engage those students with the greatest need for developmental support.
Developing Engagement with Feedback Toolkit (DEFT)
Winstone, N. E., & Nash, R. A. (2019). Developing students' proactive engagement with feedback. In C. Bryan & K. Clegg (Eds.), Innovative assessment in higher education: A handbook for practitioners (2nd ed., pp. 129-138). London: Routledge.
Harrington, R. A., Scarborough, P., Hodgkins, C., Raats, M.M., Cowburn, G., Dean, M., Doherty, A., Foster, C., Juszczak, E., Ni Mhurchu, C., Winstone, N., Shepherd, R., Timotijevic, L., & Rayner, M. (2019). A pilot randomised controlled trial of a digital intervention aimed at improving food purchasing behaviour: the Front of pack Labels Impact on Consumer Choice (FLICC) study. JMIR Formative Research, 3(2), e9910.
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Background: Most food in the United Kingdom is purchased in supermarkets, and many of these purchases are routinely tracked through supermarket loyalty card data. Using such data may be an effective way to develop remote public health interventions and to measure objectively their effectiveness at changing food purchasing behavior. Objective: The Front-of-pack food Labels: Impact on Consumer Choice (FLICC) study is a pilot randomized controlled trial of a digital behavior change intervention. This pilot trial aimed to collect data on recruitment and retention rates and to provide estimates of effect sizes for the primary outcome (healthiness of ready meals and pizzas purchased) to inform a larger trial. Methods: The intervention consisted of a website where participants could access tailored feedback on previous purchases of ready meals and pizzas, set goals for behavior change, and model and practice the recommended healthy shopping behavior using traffic light labels. The control consisted of Web-based information on traffic light labeling. Participants were recruited via email from a list of loyalty card holders held by the participating supermarket. All food and drink purchases for the participants for the 6 months before recruitment, during the 6-week intervention period, and during a 12-week washout period were transferred to the research team by the participating supermarket. Healthiness of ready meals and pizzas was measured using a predeveloped scale based solely on the traffic light colors on the foods. Questionnaires were completed at recruitment, end of the intervention, and end of washout to estimate the effect of the intervention on variables that mediate behavior change (eg, belief and intention formation). Results: We recruited 496 participants from an initial email to 50,000 people. Only 3 people withdrew from the study, and purchase data were received for all other participants. A total of 208 participants completed all 3 questionnaires. There was no difference in the healthiness of purchased ready meals and pizzas between the intervention and control arms either during the intervention period (=.32) or at washout (=.59). Conclusions: Although the FLICC study did not find evidence of an impact of the intervention on food purchasing behavior, the unique methods used in this pilot trial are informative for future studies that plan to use supermarket loyalty card data in collaboration with supermarket partners. The experience of the trial showcases the possibilities and challenges associated with the use of loyalty card data in public health research.
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Gravett, K., Kinchin, I. M., & Winstone, N. E. (2019). ‘More than customers’: conceptions of students as partners held by students, staff, and institutional leaders. Studies in Higher Education, in press.
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Students as partners (SaP) practices are emerging in today’s universities as a means to offer a more participative agenda, and to transform institutional cultures within an increasingly economically driven higher education context. This study contributes to understandings of partnership approaches, which largely still remain under-theorised, through exploring the conceptualisation of SaP by institutional leaders, staff, and students. Drawing on data from concept map-mediated interviews, this article offers a counterview to recent studies that have depicted staff understandings of SaP to be firmly located within a neoliberal discourse. Rather, our interviews portray surprising overlaps within students’ and leaders’ conceptualisations of SaP, depicting recurrent themes of communication, dialogue, community, and enabling students to escape neoliberal constructions: to become ‘more than customers’. This article ends with a consideration of how investigating the ways in which students and staff conceptualise SaP can be valuable, as partnership approaches become further prioritised in institutional strategies.
Hollywood, A., McCarthy, D., Spenceley, C., & Winstone, N. (2020). 'Overwhelmed at first': the experience of career development in early career academics. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 44(7), 998-1012.
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The higher education sector is undergoing considerable changes to its working conditions. From regular scrutiny of individual research and teaching quality, audits of individual academic performance, to growing expectations arising from the culture of ‘student experience’, it is widely recognised that higher education is a turbulent sector. Amongst Early Career Academics (ECAs), initial transitions into this sector of work can have considerable consequences for career development and willingness to remain within the higher education profession. Drawing on a mixed-mode survey exploring the experience of UK-based ECAs, we highlight distinct intrapersonal and experiential factors which relate to variations in the perceived potential for career development and wellbeing. The data suggest that it is not just situational factors such as the departmental environment and job security that relate to the ‘imagined futures’ of ECAs; it is also important to gain a deeper understanding of how intrapersonal dimensions, such as an individual’s personality, shape the experience of the early stages of an academic career. Our qualitative data shed further light on the experiences that can influence the job satisfaction of ECAs. The findings are discussed in the context of a growing body of international research on ECAs, and the rapidly changing Higher Education sector in the UK.
Winstone, N. E. (2019). Facilitating students' use of feedback: Capturing and tracking impact using digital tools. In M. Henderson, R. Ajjawi, D. Boud, & E. Molloy (eds), The impact of feedback in higher education: Improving assessment outcomes for learners (pp.225-242). London: Palgrave.
Lygo-Baker, S., Kinchin, I. M., & Winstone, N. E. (2019). The single voice fallacy. In S. Lygo-Baker, I. M. Kinchin, & N. E. Winstone (Eds.), Engaging student voices in higher education: Diverse perspectives and expectations in partnership (pp. 1-15). London: Palgrave.
Winstone, N. E., & Boud, D. (2019). Developing assessment feedback: From occasional survey to everyday practice. In S. Lygo-Baker, I. M. Kinchin, & N. E. Winstone (Eds.), Engaging student voices in higher education: Diverse perspectives and expectations in partnership (pp. 109-123). London: Palgrave.
Winstone, N. E., & Hulme, J. A. (2019). 'Duck to water' or 'fish out of water'? Diversity in the experience of negotiating the transition to university. In S. Lygo-Baker, I. M. Kinchin, & N. E. Winstone (Eds.), Engaging student voices in higher education: Diverse perspectives and expectations in partnership (pp. 159-174). London: Palgrave.
Gravett, K., Medland, E., & Winstone, N. E. (2019). Engaging students as co-designers in educational innovation. In S. Lygo-Baker, I. M. Kinchin, & N. E. Winstone (Eds.), Engaging student voices in higher education: Diverse perspectives and expectations in partnership (pp. 297-313). London: Palgrave.
Lygo-Baker, S., Kinchin, I.M., & Winstone, N.E. (2019). When all is said and done: Consensus or pluralism? In S. Lygo-Baker, I. M. Kinchin, & N. E. Winstone (Eds.), Engaging student voices in higher education: Diverse perspectives and expectations in partnership (pp. 315-325). London: Palgrave.
Tenenbaum, H. R., Winstone, N., Avery, R., & Leman, P. (2019). How effective is peer interaction in facilitating learning? A meta-analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology, in press.
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Decades of research indicate that peer interaction, where individuals discuss or work on a task collaboratively, may be beneficial children’s and adolescents’ learning. Yet we do not know which features of interaction may be related to learning from peer interaction. This meta-analysis examined results from 62 articles with 71 studies into peer interaction, involving a total of 7,103 participants aged 4 to 18 years. Peer interaction was effective in promoting learning in comparison with other types of learning conditions, Hedges' = 0.40, 95% CI [0.27, 0.54], < .0001, across different gender and age groups. In contrast, however, peer interaction was not more effective than child-adult dyadic interaction. Moderator analyses also indicated that peer interaction is more effective when children are specifically instructed to reach consensus than when they are not. Findings extend theoretical considerations by teasing apart the processes through which children learn from peer interactions and offer practical implications for the effective use of peer interaction techniques in the classroom.
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Dainton, C., Opitz, B., Winstone, N. E., & Klaver, P. (2020). Utility of feedback has a greater impact on learning than ease of decoding. Mind, Brain, & Education 14(2), 139-145.
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While feedback is a key facilitator of learning, researchers have yet to determine the ideal feedback process for optimal performance in learners. The current study investigates the combined effects of ease of decoding, and utility of feedback during learning. Accuracy and rate of learning were recorded alongside changes to the feedback related negativity (FRN), an event‐related potential (ERP) elicited by feedback stimuli. This study investigates the FRN within the context of future‐focused directive feedback (DF), in addition to past‐focused evaluative feedback (EF) typically seen in the neuroscience literature. Results indicate a main effect of utility together with an interaction with ease of decoding on the accuracy data, but only the main effect of utility on learning rate. DF produced an FRN, like EF, which was then larger during high‐utility feedback, specifically following negative EF or when hard‐to‐decode. Implications and future research directions are discussed.
Gravett, K., Kinchin, I. M., WInstone, N. E., Balloo, K., Heron, M., Hosein, A., Lygo-Baker, S., & Medland, E. (2020). The development of academics’ feedback literacy: experiences of learning from critical feedback via scholarly peer review. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 45(5), 651-665.
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The emerging literature related to feedback literacy has hitherto focused primarily on students’ engagement with feedback, and yet an analysis of academics’ feedback literacy is also of interest to those seeking to understand effective strategies to engage with feedback. Data from concept map-mediated interviews and reflections, with a team of six colleagues, surface academics’ responses to receiving critical feedback via scholarly peer review. Our findings reveal that feedback can be visceral and affecting, but that academics employ a number of strategies to engage with this process. This process can lead to actions that are both instrumental, enabling academics to more effectively ‘play the game’ of publication, as well as to learning that is more positively and holistically developmental. This study thus aims to open up a dialogue with colleagues internationally about the role of feedback literacy, for both academics and students. By openly sharing our own experiences we seek to normalise the difficulties academics routinely experience when engaging with critical feedback, to share the learning and strategies which can result from peer review feedback, and to explore how academics may occupy a comparable role to students who also receive evaluation of their work. 
Winstone, N. E., Hepper, E. G., & Nash, R. A. (2019). Individual differences in self-reported use of assessment feedback: The mediating role of feedback beliefs. Educational Psychology, in press.
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Feedback can rarely enhance learning unless it is used; however, few studies have examined individual differences in students’ engagement with feedback. The present study explored a) the extent to which personality variables and achievement goal orientation are associated with students’ self-reported use of feedback; and b) whether beliefs about feedback (utility, accountability, self-efficacy, and volition to implement feedback) mediate these associations. Students aged 16-18 ( = 746) completed self-report measures assessing each of these constructs. Self-reported feedback use was greater among students who scored high in mastery approach goals, performance approach goals, and conscientiousness. Controlling for academic achievement (which correlated weakly with self-reported feedback use), all of these associations were mediated by self-efficacy, and a subset of the associations were also mediated by the perceived utility of feedback and volition to implement feedback. Supporting students to feel competent in using feedback should be a key priority for interventions.
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Gravett, K., & Winstone, N. E. (2019). Storying students' becomings into and through higher education. Studies in Higher Education, in press.
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This article employs a new approach to understanding student transition. This area of theory and practice has developed huge global significance. However, transition as a concept is under-theorised, and a discourse that reiterates stereotypic narratives of students’ normative and linear trajectories can be seen to permeate the field. Drawing on data collected using story completion methods, together with semi-structured interviews, we examine this stereotypic discourse that surrounds stories of transition. Our data suggest that this narrative exists in tension with a more nuanced picture: one that depicts the diversity, fluidity and complexity of students’ lived experiences. In order to better understand these experiences we employ a theoretical approach that conceptualises transitions as troublesome, as rhizomatic, and as becoming. We argue that this approach offers the potential to look beyond normative narratives that surround student transition, and to celebrate students’ becomings in a more rich and generative way.
Gravett, K., Kinchin, I. M., & Winstone, N. E. (2019). Frailty in transition? Troubling the norms, boundaries and limitations of transition theory and practice. Higher Education Research and Development, in press.
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This article focuses on ‘transition’ and how it is understood within higher education. Drawing on data from concept map-mediated interviews at two institutions, we examine the conceptions of transition held by academic and professional staff, who work to support students’ learning into and through higher education. We suggest that normative understandings of transition often draw upon a grand-narrative that orchestrates and reiterates a stereotypic understanding of students’ experiences. Often this narrative involves students’ interpellation into a field of discourse where the subject is constructed as both homogeneous and in deficit: ill-prepared, lacking in independence, as vulnerable and in need of support. However, this study suggests that beneath this discourse lies a more nuanced picture: one where students’ experiences can be conceptualised as diverse and fluid. Moreover, we employ the concept of pedagogic ‘frailty’ to expose the significance of the environments and wider contexts in which students ‘transition’, and to explore the impact of systemic tensions upon students’ experiences. This article further argues that future research should shift discussions away from the deficits of students, and examine how we can make underlying environmental and systemic challenges more explicit, in order to widen our understanding and discussions of these constraints.
Gregory, S.E.A., Winstone, N.E., Ridout, N., & Nash, R.A. (2020). Weak memory for future-oriented feedback: Investigating the roles of attention and improvement focus. Memory, 28(2), 216-236.
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Recent research showed that people recall past-oriented, evaluative feedback more fully and accurately than future-oriented, directive feedback. Here we investigated whether these memory biases arise from preferential attention toward evaluative feedback during encoding. We also attempted to counter the biases via manipulations intended to focus participants on improvement. Participants received bogus evaluative and directive feedback on their writing. Before reading the feedback, some participants set goals for improvement (experiments 1 and 2), or they wrote about their past or future use of the writing skills, and/or were incentivised to improve (experiment 3); we objectively measured participants’ attention during feedback reading using eyetracking. Finally, all participants completed a recall test. We successfully replicated the preferential remembering of evaluative feedback, but found little support for an attentional explanation. Goal-setting reduced participants’ tendency to reproduce feedback in an evaluative style, but not their preferential remembering of evaluative feedback. Neither orienting participants toward their past or future use of the writing skills, nor incentivising them to improve, influenced their attention toward or memory for the feedback. These findings advance the search for a mechanism to explain people’s weaker memory for future-oriented feedback, demonstrating that attentional and improvement-oriented accounts cannot adequately explain the effect.
Winstone, N.E., & Pitt, E. (2020). How can you establish rapport and respect in doctoral assessment? In P. Denicolo, D. Duke, & J. Reeves (Eds.), Delivering inspiring doctoral assessment (pp. 74-91). London: Sage.
Kinchin, I. M., Winstone, N. E., & Medland, E. (2020). Considering the concept of recipience in student learning from a modified Bernsteinian perspective. Studies in Higher Education, in press.
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The concept of recipience is emerging within the literature as a useful idea to inform our understanding of student engagement with feedback. In this paper the applicability of the concept of recipience is broadened from its origins in the literature on student feedback to consider its role in developing student knowledge structures that are more receptive to development. This will promote cumulative/meaningful learning that is required to construct professional knowledge. By drawing on Legitimation Code Theory, and visualising the morphology of target knowledge structures in relation to their position on the semantic plane (of semantic gravity vs. semantic density), a fresh perspective is offered to inform student learning that can suggest ways of enhancing the quality of student learning. This is achieved by explicitly enabling the construction of a more coherent perspective of the knowledge terrain generated by complex curricula.
Winstone, N. E., Gravett, K., Balloo, K., Jacobs, D., & Keen, H. (2020). Who stands to benefit? Wellbeing, belonging, and challenges to equity in engagement in extra-curricular activities. Active Learning in Higher Education, in press.
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Students’ engagement in Extra-Curricular Activities (ECAs) can play a significant role in their development of a student identity, as well as leading to a greater sense of belonging and wellbeing. However, individual characteristics such as sociability may influence the likelihood of students engaging in ECAs. We collected mixed mode data from two online surveys to explore students’ perceptions of the impact of engagement in ECAs on their experience at university, as well as the mediating role of engagement in ECAs in the relationships between extraversion and wellbeing and sense of belonging to the University. Our data demonstrate that extraversion is positively associated with both belonging and wellbeing, and that engagement in ECAs mediates these relationships. Our qualitative data uncover further nuances in engagement with ECAs; whilst many perceived outcomes are positive, some students express regret at opportunities missed, and find it challenging to balance ECAs and their studies. Taken together, these findings indicate that not all students stand to benefit equally from engagement in ECAs. Providing a range of opportunities that are accessible to a wide range of students may promote equity in participation in ECAs.
Winstone, N. E., Pitt, E., & Nash, R. A. (2020). Educators’ perceptions of responsibility-sharing in feedback processes. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, in press.
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Many policies and processes in higher education reinforce a conception of feedback as being the transmission of information, thus placing primary responsibility on educators for delivering this information ‘well’ whilst neglecting the essential responsibilities of learners. In this study 216 university educators described the responsibilities of students, and of educators themselves, in the feedback process. We analysed their responses using both content analysis and a novel linguistic analysis of the specific words used. The content analysis indicated a clear influence of transmission-based models of feedback on educators’ views, with educators seen as responsible primarily for providing comments, and students responsible primarily for processing these comments. Linguistically, educators conveyed greater certainty, and were more likely to use referents to power and positive emotion, when describing their own as opposed to students’ responsibilities. These findings underscore the necessity of a cultural shift toward responsibility-sharing in the context of feedback in higher education.
Bourne, J., & Winstone, N. E. (2020). Empowering students’ voices: The use of activity-oriented focus groups in higher education research. International Journal of Research and Method in Education, in press.
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Surfacing student voices is of utmost importance in higher education institutions. However, the use of large-scale student surveys may not represent the most effective method of eliciting meaningful student perspectives. Focus groups have the potential to elicit a more authentic student voice through greater engagement with students. Furthermore, activities incorporated into these discussions may be beneficial in the higher education context. The aim of this article is to explore the use of activities in focus group discussions within a project focussed on students’ use of feedback. We draw on focus group discussion transcripts, debrief transcripts, field notes and activity artefacts to demonstrate how activities can be incorporated into focus group discussions. The findings indicate several benefits to using activities in higher education focus group discussions. As such, a framework to guide the use of activities, based on the purpose of the focus groups, is provided within the context of higher education research.
Winstone, N. E., & Boud, D. (2020). The need to disentangle assessment and feedback in higher education. Studies in Higher Education, in press.
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In contemporary higher education systems, the processes of assessment and feedback are often seen as coexisting activities. As a result, they have become entangled in both policy and practice, resulting in a conceptual and practical blurring of their unique purposes. In this paper, we present a critical examination of the issues created by the entanglement of assessment and feedback, arguing that it is important to ensure that the legitimate purposes of both feedback and assessment are not compromised by inappropriate conflation of the two. We situate our argument in the shifting conceptual landscape of feedback, where there is increasing emphasis on students being active players in feedback processes working with and applying information from others to future learning tasks, rather than regarding feedback as a mechanism of transmission of information by teachers. We surface and critically discuss six problems created by the entanglement of assessment and feedback: students’ focus on grades; comments justifying grades rather than support learning; feedback too late to be useful; feedback subordinated to all other processes in course design; overemphasis on documentation of feedback; and the downgrading of feedback created by requirements for anonymous marking. We then propose a series of strategies for preserving the learning function of feedback, through models that give primacy to feedback within learning cycles. We conclude by offering suggestions for research and practice that seek to engage with the challenges created by the entanglement of assessment and feedback, and that maintain the unique purposes of assessment and feedback.
Cook, A., Ogden, J., & Winstone, N. (2020). The effect of school exposure and personal contact on attitudes towards bullying and autism in schools: A cohort study with a control group. Autism, in press.
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Research shows that the attitudes of children and adolescents towards bullying are influenced by the school environment and their peer groups. Given the increased vulnerability to bullying for autistic children, this study explored whether neurotypical children’s attitudes towards bullying and autism varied according to school exposure and personal contact with autistic people. Survey data were collected at the beginning and end of the school year from 775 children aged 11–12 years, from six schools: three with specialist centres for autism and three without. Participants read vignettes depicting bullying scenarios then completed measures of their attitudes in relation to the vignette and towards autism. Children from centre schools showed a greater increase in prosocial emotions towards bullying. For children from non-centre schools, an interaction showed a decrease in prosocial emotions except in response to social exclusion of an autistic child. Increases in personal contact showed a greater increase in positive attitudes towards autistic people. Explanations draw on theories of inter-group contact and social-moral reasoning. Results highlight the need for contact both at a personal level and through attending a school with an inclusive autism provision to increase understanding, improve attitudes towards autism and reduce tolerance for bullying.
Carless, D., & Winstone, N.E. (2020). Teacher feedback literacy and its interplay with student feedback literacy. Teaching in Higher Education, in press.
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Feedback processes are difficult to manage, and the accumulated frustrations of teachers and students inhibit the learning potential of feedback. In this conceptual paper, challenges to the development of effective feedback processes are reviewed and a new framework for teacher feedback literacy is proposed. The framework comprises three dimensions: a design dimension focuses on designing feedback processes for student uptake and enabling student evaluative judgment; a relational dimension represents the interpersonal side of feedback exchanges; and a pragmatic dimension addresses how teachers manage the compromises inherent in disciplinary and institutional feedback practices. Implications discuss the need for partnership approaches to feedback predicated on shared responsibilities between teachers and students, and the interplay between teacher and student feedback literacy. Key recommendations for practice are suggested within the design, relational and pragmatic dimensions. Avenues for further research are proposed, including how teacher and student feedback literacy might be developed in tandem.
Winstone, N.E., Bourne, J., Medland, E., Niculescu, I., & Rees, R. (2020). “Check the grade, log out”: Students’ engagement with feedback in Learning Management Systems. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, in press.
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There is growing recognition that socio-constructivist representations of feedback processes, where students build their own understanding through engaging with and discussing feedback information, are more appropriate than cognitivist transmission-oriented models. In parallel, practice has developed away from hard-copy handwritten or typed feedback comments, towards the provision of e-feedback in Learning Management Systems (LMS). Through thematic analysis of activity-oriented focus groups with 33 Undergraduate students, the present study aimed to explore 1) students’ experience of engaging with feedback in the LMS; 2) barriers to students’ engagement; and 3) students’ perceptions of the potential for technology to ameliorate these barriers. The data reveal particular barriers to engagement created by the LMS environment; grades and feedback are commonly separated spatially, limiting attention to the latter. Additionally, the distributed location of feedback from different tasks limits synthesis of feedback. Nevertheless, students perceived that the LMS environment affords opportunities for addressing such challenges, particularly in relation to the potential for a LMS tool to synthesise feedback information across modules, and to direct students to resources to develop their skills.  The findings are discussed in the context of cycles of engagement with feedback, and implications for the principled use of technology in feedback processes are discussed.
Sela, K., & Winstone, N. (2020). “University is a place of imagination where anything can happen”: Evaluating Widening Participation initiatives with young children. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, in press.
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There is increasing awareness of the importance of working with younger children in Widening Participation initiatives. Whilst typical evaluation methods such as feedback questionnaires may be appropriate for collating evidence of the impact of initiatives with older children and teenagers, these tools are less appropriate for younger children. In the context of the evaluation of a campus-based creative writing programme for 9- to 10-year-old children, this paper discusses the utility of creative approaches to evaluation. Prior to and following their visit to the University campus, children completed a worksheet to gain their perspectives of University through sentence completion, comparison, and drawing tasks. These methods provide insight into how children’s perspectives are shaped by visiting a University campus, as well as differences between those who do and do not know someone who has attended University. We present snapshots of the evaluation data and discuss the implications for evaluation of widening participation initiatives with young children.
Evans, D., Bailey, S. G., Trinder, S. L., Thumser, A. E., Winstone, N. E., & Bailey, I. G. (2020). The biochemical literacy framework: Inviting pedagogical innovation in higher education. FEBS Open Bio, in press.
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When developing meaningful curricula institutions must engage with the desired disciplinary attributes of their graduates. Successfully employed in several areas, including psychology and chemistry, disciplinary literacies provide structure for the development of core competencies- pursuing progressive education. To this end, we have sought to develop a comprehensive blueprint of a graduate biochemist, providing detailed insight into the development of skills in the context of disciplinary knowledge. The Biochemical Literacy Framework (BCLF) aspires to encourage innovative course design in both the biochemical field and beyond through stimulating discussion among individuals developing undergraduate biochemistry degree courses based on pedagogical best practice. Here, we examine the concept of biochemical literacy aiming to start answering the question: what must individuals do and know to approach and transform ideas in the context of the biochemical sciences? The BCLF began with the guidance published by relevant learned societies - including the RSB, the Biochemistry Society, the AMBMB, and the QAA, before considering relevant pedagogical literature. We propose that biochemical literacy is comprised of seven key skills: critical thinking, self-management, communication, information literacy, visual literacy, practical skills, and content knowledge. Together these form a dynamic, highly interconnected, and interrelated meta-literacy supporting the use of evidence-based, robust learning techniques. The Biochemical Literacy Framework is intended to form the foundation for discussion between colleagues, in addition to forming the groundwork for both pragmatic and exploratory future studies into facilitating and further defining biochemical literacy.
Pitt, E., & Winstone, N. (2020). Towards Technology Enhanced Dialogic Feedback. In M. Bearman, P. Dawson, R. Ajjawi, J. Tai, & D. Boud (Eds.), Re-imagining university assessment in a digital world (pp. 79-94). Dordrecht: Springer.
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In this chapter, we view technology-enhanced feedback (specifically audio, video and screencast feedback) through the lens of Carless’s (High Educ 69(6):963–976, 2015) ‘old’ versus ‘new’ paradigm postulates. We explore the potential factors that may facilitate audio, video and screencast feedback promoting dialogue in a new paradigm approach to feedback. We identify three ‘dilemmas’ that may need to be addressed to facilitate such dialogue. In exploring this territory, we draw upon examples from the research literature and how this may inform our developing understanding of feedback dialogue within the digital world.