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New Arena lead gives her top 5 tips for good assessment and feedback

23 January 2018

Dr Jenny Griffiths has recently joined the UCL Arena Centre for Research-Based Education, leading assessment and feedback initiatives.

Dr Jenny Griffiths

Jenny has recently joined the UCL Arena Centre for Research-based Education, where she will be leading institution-wide initiatives to build strength in student assessment and feedback. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a member of the UCL Centre for Engineering Education.

A history of transformative education

Jenny was previously the Director of the UCL Engineering Postgraduate Taught Transformation Programme. She led a faculty-wide review of over 60 Postgraduate programmes, providing education for >1600 students within the faculty of Engineering Sciences each year. 

Her work fed into a university-level review of Postgraduate education aiming to improve structures, design, legibility and pedagogic approach to create a suite of MSc and life-long-learning provision based around UCL's key strengths of interdisciplinarity and research-based teaching that will give graduates the skills and knowledge to move forward in their careers.

Prior to this, she held positions in the UCL Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Department of Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering where she carried out research in radiation physics alongside developing and delivering a wide range of postgraduate modules and programmes. 

A role supporting UCL to improve assessment and feedback

Jenny is leading on assessment and feedback initiatives across UCL in 2018. This includes chairing the Connected Curriculum Assessment and Feedback working group, and working with colleagues to facilitate improvements in the way we design and deliver assessment and feedback. 

She is also developing and delivering workshops for all staff on assessment and feedback. We aim for 500 staff to have attended a Giving Good Quality Feedback workshop by the end of the academic year, and for a similar number to attend a Developing Assessment workshop scheduled for roll out in September 2018. 

She is also the Arena link for the faculty of Life Sciences. 

Jenny’s top 5 tips for assessment and feedback

  1. Use our assessment and feedback case studies, and the dimensions of the Connected Curriculum to inspire innovative assessments.
  2. Point your students towards our student guide on Assessment and Feedback to help them understand the basics.
  3. Discuss your expectations with your students by holding a guided marking session.
  4. Make feedback easy to understand by highlighting good points, areas for improvement, and irrelevant material that could be omitted in future work. 
  5. Come along to a Giving Good Quality Feedback workshop to explore what good feedback looks like, and exchange ideas with colleagues. 

More about Dr Griffiths’ research and public engagement 

Jenny obtained her PhD in Radiation Physics from the UCL Department of Medical Physics & Bioengineering and then continued in the department working on x-ray imaging techniques for medical and security imaging with an emphasis on x-ray diffraction of non-crystalline materials and intelligent imaging. Recent collaborations are in the areas of applying techniques in diffraction, x-ray fluorescence and computed tomography to breast cancer, baggage scanning, and 4000-year-old Egyptian artwork.

She is keen to promote Engineering and Physics to the wider community through giving public talks and demonstrations. These have ranged from show and tells in primary schools, through performing at Bright Club (a science and comedy cabaret at the Brighton Science Festival), and running a Royal Institution Schools Masterclass, to an in-depth discussion of radiotherapy with a University of the Third Age Scientific Interest group.