ICS Learn Feedback Policy


1. Introduction

This policy aims to give all ICS Learn staff members involved in learner assessment clear guidance on the principles, rationale and aims involved in providing effective feedback in relation to learner coursework.

ICS Learn views feedback as an integral part of a learner’s success to help effectively support learning. Because of this, factors such as response times and quality of feedback are regarded as being of high importance.

The aim of the current policy is to develop an overall approach to feedback that enhances the effectiveness of assessment in aiding learners to achieve the necessary knowledge and skills described in a module or programme’s intended learning outcomes.

To ensure that these standards are met, this policy works in line with ICS Learn’s current Quality Enhancement and Improvement Framework, specifically expectations 18 and 25. These expectations stipulate that learners are able to monitor progress through feedback and academic discussion and that feedback is timely and constructive and allows learners to develop academically and meet intended learning outcomes.

For details of how this policy is implemented, please see the ICS Learn Feedback Procedure.

2. Scope

This policy applies to all learners on all study programmes offered by ICS Learn, covers all work and feedback given to and submitted by all ICS Learn learners. Any feedback, regardless of the form it is given in, be it written, spoken or otherwise falls under the remit of this policy. Each individual programme will follow its own guidelines and procedures (as set out in the Feedback Procedure). All feedback guidelines will underline the key principles shown in section 3.2.

3. Policy Statements

3.1 Feedback Guidelines

ICS Learn understands the importance of timely and constructive feedback. Because of this, we agree to ensure that:

  1. All relevant feedback service level agreements (SLAs) are communicated to learners from the onset of the course to establish learner expectations.
  2. Feedback will be delivered promptly to the learner.
  3. Constructive feedback will be provided to the learner and this will help them to progress and improve in their studies.
  4. Feedback will be given in the appropriate format and will be accompanied by a feedback/marking sheet where one is available.
  5. ICS Learn aims, where possible, to give thorough and individualised feedback to a learner and will, where appropriate, respond to a learner’s request for further feedback.

3.2 Feedback Principles

To ensure that all feedback provided to learners meets set out standards, ICS Learn adheres to the following principles:

  1. All feedback is constructive and recognises a learner’s strengths as well as weaknesses. To ensure this, feedback should acknowledge what learners have done well, as well as areas for improvement. This will help boost morale and motivation as well as help them to gain a full appreciation of why they did well or where they need to improve.
  2. Feedback is to be given in a timely and prompt manner. This ensures that learners are able to use the feedback to effectively make progress throughout their course.
  3. All feedback should be comprehensive and easy to understand; it should be clear and unambiguous with clear contexts.
  4. All feedback should be relevant and relate to the learning outcomes and assessment criteria for the task so that learners are aware of what is expected of them.
  5. Feedback should be encouraging and positive where possible to allow the learner to know what they need to work on to improve for future assessments.

4. Roles and Responsibilities

All aspects of feedback set out in this policy apply to all members of staff associated either directly, i.e. tutors or indirectly i.e. Curriculum Coordinators involved in the marking of learner work.

Staff involved in assessing learners’ work are responsible for:

  1. Assessing learners’ work according to published assessment criteria which are aligned to intended learning outcomes;
  2. Providing timely, informative and helpful feedback which enables learners to further improve their learning and performance wherever possible;
  3. Informing learners when, where and how feedback will be provided;
  4. Engaging in dialogue with learners about assessment and feedback; and
  5. Continuously reviewing their approaches to assessment and feedback to reflect effective practice.

It is the responsibility of the Curriculum Coordinators to ensure that feedback is standardised and maintained by all tutors and other staff involved in providing academic feedback to learners.

All staff involved should follow the ICS Learn Feedback Procedure to ensure that standards are maintained.

It is the responsibility of the Curriculum Coordinators to review feedback procedures to ensure that these standards continue to be maintained and improved upon.

This policy should be adhered to across ICS Learn. The implementation of the policy will be monitored by the Quality Assurance Coordinator.

Consider the implications of staff annual leave on feedback return times. Reasonable measures should be taken during times where tutors or other staff are on annual leave to help ensure that any feedback given out with Service Level Agreement (SLA) is minimised, e.g. by making alternative arrangements for marking. If an extension to the SLAs cannot be avoided, this should be predicted and a new return date agreed and communicated to learners.

5. Further Information

This policy should be read and work in conjunction with ICS Learns Feedback Procedure. This policy works in conjunction with and compliments the ICS Learn Assessment Policy. This and all other ICS Learn Policies are set out to be in line with the Quality Enhancement and Performance Framework.

6. Glossary

Quality Enhancement and Performance Framework: The Framework defines all quality standards and expectations which the company intends to meet and fulfil within the learner journey. The Framework is used to define quality standards and benchmark our performance to it.

Assessment: Any assessed piece of work (such as examinations, assignments and other assessable work) submitted by a learner that enables them to monitor their progress and contributes to their academic success.

Assessment criteria: The specific criteria in which a learner’s work is assessed against. These criteria should be understood by both the assessor and the learner. Feedback given should directly relate to these criteria.

Feedback: Information provided to learners on the quality of their performance in relation to assessment criteria, which forms the basis of improved student learning.

Intended learning outcomes: Criteria that the learner is expected to be able to demonstrate, in terms of particular knowledge, skills and understanding, by the end of a module or programme.

Service Level Agreement (SLA): An official commitment between the study centre and the learner on when assessment feedback and query response should be received.