FeedPulse is a tool which can be used to bring the theory of Longitudinal testing (van der Vleuten,
2011) and Assessment as Learning (Dochy, Dochy & Janssens, 2018) to practise. These two theories
provide insight into the way in which students are provided with feedback at multiple moments during
their learning process. These different feedback moments are learning moments for the student (and
lecturer) and can provide valuable information about the development. Students process the oral
feedback they received from their teacher into FeedPulse themselves. This way, they are activated and
become responsible for their own learning process. Since the feedback of multiple measurements is
tracked in FeedPulse, an overview of the development of a student over time arises. This not only
makes it easier for the teacher to monitor the learning process of his students, the student also gains
more insight into his own growth.
Do you recognize the following? Students mostly make the greatest effort at the end of a semester.
We would like the student to show linear learning behavior with evenly distributed effort, instead of a
peak in knowledge reproduction at the end of a semester. In Figure 1, you see a representation of the
study effort of the student compared to the time span of the course.
The black line represents the traditional way of learning in which a test is taken at the end of the
learning process. Just before the test, students learn what is necessary to pass the course. This way of
assessing often results in a peak load towards the end of a course’s time span. There is a low sense of
urgency until the very moment of assessment. That is why we would like to stimulate linear learning
behavior with more evenly distributed effort (as represented by the blue line in Figure 1).
A best practice for establishing a more evenly distributed effort of learning among students is using
several (formative) measurement moments. This is called longitudinal testing. During multiple moments,
the student is provided with feedback about his current level of performance. By providing just-in-time
feedback, feed-up and feed-forward (Hattie & Timperley, 2007), the teacher can stimulate the reduction
of the gap between the current performance and the desired performance.
When using FeedPulse, students actively process the received oral feedback themselves in FeedPulse.
This gives the feedback more meaning and makes sure the feedback is embedded in the learning
process. FeedPulse provides an overview of a student's performance over time, so that the student is
constantly triggered to anticipate the provided feedback and improve his performance.
The various feedback moments can be seen as learning moments (Assessment as Learning). In these
various feedback moments, the student is given timely insight into his development (in relation to the
learning outcomes). At the end of the course's timespan, all feedback given, all products delivered and
all reviews of course deliveries, can form the basis for the (integral) final assessment. The result of this
final assessment should not really be a surprise to the student anymore!
Each checkpoint represents a feedback moment. The teacher (or student) creates a checkpoint for a
student or a group of students. The student writes down the received feedback in the checkpoint
Students can consider these guiding questions when filling in the checkpoint: What went well according to
the teacher? What could you pay more attention to according to the teacher? What is your next step towards
achieving the learning goals / learning outcomes?
The teacher gives a rating of the student's overall performance (compared to the learning outcomes) at
a checkpoint. The rating can be a neutral, positive or negative smiley, as depicted in Figure 2. These
various intermediate "rough" ratings ultimately say more than a single final measurement.
The student can also give himself a rating at each checkpoint. This way students think about their own
performance, are more involved in the feedback process and highly involved in their own development.
The differences between the self-rating and the teacher-rating, as for example shown in Figure 3, can
be valuable input and may function as starting points for conversations concerning the development of
Three tabs can be enabled in FeedPulse by the teacher via the gear icon (the settings icon): Students,
Groups and Peers. In the tab Students all students who are enrolled in the course will be displayed.
Students archive their individual feedback here. Second, students can process the received group
feedback via the tab Groups. One group member registers the received feedback and every other
group member can respond once (for example with an addition). The last tab in FeedPulse is Peers. A
group of students can enter feedback about themselves and about the other group members here.
Teachers and students can download a PDF of all the checkpoints in FeedPulse. This can be used, for
example, as input for a portfolio.
It is nice for students if all teachers who use FeedPulse apply this in the same way as much as possible,
so that students get used to a uniform method. A common method is the following:
- The teacher creates a checkpoint.
- During the feedback moment (checkpoint), the teacher sits next to the student and provides oral
feedback, feed-up and feed-forward about the overall performance.
- During or immediately after the feedback moment, the student processes the feedback, feed-up and
feed-forward in FeedPulse.
- Immediately after this moment, the teacher gives a smiley rating about the overall performance of a
student at that moment.
- The next feedback moment (for example one or two weeks later), the teacher and student will
look back to the previous feedback moment (previous checkpoint). How is the student performing at the moment? And has he taken action in response to the feedback and feed-
forward from last time?
The teacher creates a new checkpoint and the student enters the feedback, feed-up and feed-
forward in this new checkpoint.