BMS353 is a module where theoretical knowledge is applied to data analysis. To this end we will use tools like programming and statistical methods that enable us to do so. To learn smoothly and construct your knowledge in the subject, it is very important that you value and consider the contribution of feedback in your learning. To this purpose there will be a variety of activities during the module that are specifically aimed at:

  • improving provision of quality feedback
  • improving students engagement with feedback.

Feedback in BMS353 will be given in the following ways:

  1. during lectures and practicals
  2. with self-marking of notebooks
  3. in discussion forums
  4. by email when discussion forums have not answered the question.


The lab practical notebooks handed in during the module will constitute formative feedback that can be used for the final project and to build knowledge and proficiency in coding. Solutions for the weekly coursework will be provided the week following the coursework assignment. They will be used to self-assess the practical work and a guide for assessment will be provided every week and it is reported below.

Assessment for Practical in BMS353

This assessment is based on the evaluation of the practical notebooks assigned weekly during the module. When you evaluate your notebook, you must bear in mind that the criteria that are used to evaluate it are as follow:

− Overall clarity (0.25 points)

− Correctness of the code ( 0.25 points)

− Exhaustive cover of required analysis (0.25 points)

− Interpretation of the results (0.25 points)

Please score each exercise in the notebook using the criteria above and the notebook with the solution as a reference. For exercise where any of these criteria is not applicable, score 0.25 for that particular criterion. If you score full mark on an exercise, the grade should be a total of 1 points.

Sum the scores gained for each exercise to derive the final total score. To calculate the percentage you scored for that particular coursework, divide the score for the total number of exercises in the notebook and multiply by 100. This assessment is based on same criteria that will be used to assess the final project that is a summative assessment. IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you get familiar with evaluating your own work, so that you will be able to correct and improve any part of your final notebook.

Feedback principles in BMS353

  • Lectures – the lecturer on this module may well ask the class questions and expect considered responses from you. This is useful feedback because if you cannot answer their questions you will know that you are not keeping up to date with your work, or there are gaps in your understanding.
  • Practical sessions are a way to receive interactive feedback both from lecturer, demonstrators and peers. Please make sure you actively participates to the sessions to receive the most benefit from this type of feedback.
  • On-line resources – this module is based open source tools and on methods that are continuously evolving and updating. Therefore the use of on-line documentations as well as google searches and forum, is an essential part of learning within BMS353. The discussion of concepts discovered from online searches and forum is highly recommended and constitutes a form of feedback.
  • The module web site provides a platform for a forum where questions can be asked at any time to the lecturer.
  • Weekly coursework will ne self evaluated and scored using the template provided. Solutions to perform this self evaluation will be given the week following the assignment. The feedback (your score) on the coursework needs to used to monitor your progression in coding.
  • Module tutorial– your chance at the end of the module to ask questions and receive advice / examples of how to complete the final notebook. You should be able to make good attempts at asking questions by producing a list of question to discuss in the last week.
  • Examination grade breakdowns – we aim to provide breakdowns of your examination grades into component parts where appropriate. See your Undergraduate Handbook for more details on assessment criteria of the MCQ component.
  • Generic feedback – this module will provide information regarding what is / was generally done well or poorly on the assessment as soon as is practicable after the hand-in of the work, or the examination period.


  • The feedback (formative assessment) course-works are essential to learn the coding skills– do them.
  • Hit the deadlines for the self-assessment to monitor your progress and highlight to the lecturer and problem you might have.
  • Make sure you participate actively to the interactive sessions in the class and in the labs. It is the best form of feedback- take it.
  • Use the resources on the module website and online – they are there to help you.
  • Read carefully the notebook and follow the instructions they are there to help you and guide you through the exercise.
  • Work hard from the first week 1! If you don’t you will not catch up, and this will impact on your module grade. Remember BMS353 is different from biology teaching and can be overwhelming if left all at the end. Conversely, a lot of fun when you become confident!
  • Please note, if you email a question that can be answered by reading the module handbook or instructions on MOLE you will not receive an answer. So if you haven’t heard back from the academic staff on the module check the handbook.

Finaly, please take a look at the university guidance below to help yourself to familiarise with the concept of feedback.

The Principles of Feedback (University of Sheffield) - Guidance for students

Principle 1 Student engagement with feedback is promoted

Feedback is a 2-way process, an on-going dialogue between you and your lecturers. In order for feedback to work for you, you need to engage with your feedback to improve future performance and the department should help you to do this.

Principle 2 Feedback is for learning

Feedback should help you to improve your future performance as well as provide comment on work already done. Feedback should affirm what you already know and offer encouragement. Feedback comes in many forms: written, face-to-face (both individual and collectively), from your peers, electronically via MOLE, in audio files or email. Opportunities for reflection on your feedback should be provided by personal tutors or elsewhere.

Principle 3 Feedback is clearly communicated to students

Your department will provide clear information about the types of feedback you will receive and the dates when it is available for all modules.

Principle 4 Feedback is timely

You will receive regular feedback throughout your modules, timed to help with your final assessment. Feedback on assessed work will normally be within 3 weeks.

Principle 5 Feedback is consistently delivered

Your feedback will be delivered in an accessible and consistent manner, and will relate to module assessment criteria and learning outcomes. There will be an opportunity to view exam scripts.

Principle 6 Feedback quality is maintained

Your department will ensure that the feedback you receive is of good quality. Your student reps will be involved in the process of maintaining that quality.