What is feedback? Connecting student perceptions to assessment practices

Pears, A, Harland, J, Hamilton, M and Hadgraft, R 2013, 'What is feedback? Connecting student perceptions to assessment practices', in Arnold Pears, Anders Berglund, Neena Thota (ed.) Proceedings of the Learning and Teaching in Computing and Engineering (LaTiCE), 2013, Macau, Macau, 21-24 March 2013, pp. 106-113.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title What is feedback? Connecting student perceptions to assessment practices
Author(s) Pears, A
Harland, J
Hamilton, M
Hadgraft, R
Year 2013
Conference name LaTiCE 2013
Conference location Macau, Macau
Conference dates 21-24 March 2013
Proceedings title Proceedings of the Learning and Teaching in Computing and Engineering (LaTiCE), 2013
Editor(s) Arnold Pears, Anders Berglund, Neena Thota
Publisher IEEE
Place of publication United States
Start page 106
End page 113
Total pages 8
Abstract This paper reports outcomes from an international study examining student perceptions of feedback. Recent work by Grahame Gibbs identifies linkages between current and subsequent course activities as a critical factor in whether students value the feedback they receive. We have investigated the frequency and nature of feedback given to students in two large introductory course settings in engineering and computing in Australia and Sweden and contrasted this with student perceptions of the quality of feedback they received. Data analysed includes audits of levels of verbal and written feedback on assignment work returned to students, and an exploration of student attitudes to feedback in the context of the questions asked in course evaluation questionnaires. Drawing on the work of Gibbs on feedback, and Biggs on constructive alignment we propose four principles for achieving student relevant course feedback. The paper uses these principles as a framework with which to deconstruct and analyse the feedback processes and learning activities of the 2012 versions of the two target courses. The analysis demonstrates that several key principles have been violated. We also discuss how new learning activities could be designed and evaluated to address the concerns we have identified. The results highlight the contextual nature of how feedback is perceived and valued by learners. This provides useful practical guidelines to academics wishing to optimise the value of feedback to students, and minimise wasted effort associated with giving types of feedback that have little value for learners, and which consequently often remain unread.
Subjects Global Information Systems
DOI - identifier 10.1109/LaTiCE.2013.36
Copyright notice © 2013 The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.
ISBN 9780769549606
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