Feedback in Higher Education: Exploring students’ appraisal, comprehension and utilisation

Pitt, Edward
Feedback in Higher Education: Exploring students’ appraisal, comprehension and utilisation. PhD thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Whilst at University students will experience many instances of feedback on their work. Quite often such feedback is facilitated by academic lecturers in the hope that the student will utilise this and improve in their next assessment (Hester, 2001). Often feedback does not have the desired effect and is unpredictable in terms of enhancing a student’s motivation, self-confidence and subsequent effort in future assessments. The thesis reports the findings from three studies. Primarily the present thesis, inspired by phenomenography, explored student’s appraisal, comprehension and utilisation of feedback. The thesis also explored lecturer’s responses to the observed student experiences in order to offer comparative research findings. The primary data collection method utilised within the thesis was one-to-one interviews however in order to stimulate discussion prior to interview visual representations were employed. In the data collection with students (study two) a drawing activity took place prior to the interview. In the data collection with lecturers’ (study three) videos of student’s responses to feedback were shown to the lecturers. The interviews in study two were subjected to thematic data analysis and revealed 8 main themes for the students (Lecturers, Emotions, Feedback Cognitions, Efficacy Cognitions, Draft Work, Motivation, Effort and Grades) and 6 main themes for the lecturers (Efficacy Cognitions, Student Autonomy, Problems with Feedback, Effort Conceptions, Feedback Mechanisms and Understanding Students). The findings from study two with students indicated a multifaceted interpretation of the student experience. The outcome space revealed five categories of description (Broken relationship, needy, low achiever, emotionally charged and high achiever). The structure of the variation revealed a hierarchically inclusive pattern indicating how varying patterns of behaviour and emotional reactions interact to affect the students processing and subsequent utilisation of the feedback received. In study three with the lecturers, similarities in conceptions of feedback alongside mismatches between lecturers and students were very apparent. Conclusively the thesis suggests that understanding students individually through fostering lecturer and student relationships, alongside dialogic feedback, help to improve the student’s propensity to utilise the feedback received.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Date: 2014-08 (completed)
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2015 14:55
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2022 01:27
DOI: 10.17638/02014440