About this Resource
Productive reading
Writing effectively
Who are you trying to convince?
Putting yourself in your assessor’s place
Identifying explicit criteria underlying audience feedback
Looking for feedback on what you are doing well and what needs improving
Feedback prompt list: reinforcing the good and avoiding the weak
Identifying the implicit criteria underlying audience feedback
Expanding what you learn from audience feedback
Familiarising yourself with the official criteria for assessment
Learning systematically from audience feedback
Learning from your writing for formative and summative assessment
Formative and summative assessment in writing for academic presentation
Criteria for academic presentation and developing a convincing argument
Comparing criteria for academic publication and assessing students’ work
Who needs convincing if your work is to get published in an academic journal?
Inside an academic journal editor’s world
Getting to grips with academic journal criteria for acceptance
Building your sense of audience: an interview with a journal editor
Top tips for postgraduate and doctoral research students who aspire to get published
Arguing convincingly
Mapping your field
Literature reviewing
Reviewing the literature systematically
Developing proposals

Learning systematically from audience feedback

If you are a postgraduate or doctoral research student, you can maximise the opportunity to learn from feedback by being systematic about identifying and applying both the explicit and implicit criteria of good practice that underpin it. There is likely to be a lot of overlap between the various criteria you identify. Your different tutors or co-supervisors (if you have more than one supervisor) will be expected to work to the same official criteria for assessing written work for your programme of study.

It is possible that they may work to slightly different explicit and implicit criteria of good practice. But their individual criteria of good practice will still relate to the broader official criteria. If you think there is any discrepancy between the criteria of good practice and the broad official criteria for assessment, why not discuss your perception with your tutor or supervisor and ask for further guidance?

In an earlier learning activity in this key topic, we suggested how you might record the explicit criteria that your tutors and supervisor employed in their feedback (as a feedback prompt list). As you become more experienced in your academic studies, you could be even more systematic by building up a single, cumulative list of both the explicit and implicit criteria of good practice that you identify as lying behind the feedback you receive.

For example, your tutor or supervisor might give you feedback that in your account of a particular management theory you have failed to define the key concepts, so it is unclear to your audience exactly what you mean by these ideas. You identify the implicit criterion of good practice as:

  • when describing a theory, a definition of the key concepts making-up a theory should be given to ensure that the audience is clear what each of these concepts means for the author of the theory.

Which of the more general official criteria for assessment does this specific criterion of good practice relate to most closely? Suppose the criteria for assessment were those for postgraduate written work listed earlier:

1.       Engaged critically with literature in the field

2.       Understood current theories and applied them to their experience

3.       Demonstrated clarity of thought and quality of argument

4.       Designed and undertaken a small research study

Which of these four criteria for assessment does the implicit criterion of good practice about defining the key concepts of a theory relate to most closely?

Click here for our answer