New directions in feedback seeking research and practice – CRADLE Seminar Series #4: Review by Bianka Malecka

In this post Bianka Malecka, a CRADLE PhD student researching the field of feedback herself, reviews our latest seminar by Professor David Carless, University of Hong Kong. Bianka highlights some of the more poignant outcomes related to solicited feedback, motivators and barriers.

CRADLE’s 2022 Seminar #4, presented by Professor David Carless, focused on new directions for feedback seeking research and practice. We also heard from Stephanie Young, an undergraduate student at the University of Hong Kong, who is the participant in an ongoing longitudinal research project led by Professor Carless tracking changes and development of feedback seeking over time.

Professor Carless started the seminar with a summary of feedback seeking strategies from the research on feedback seeking in organisations (Joughin et al., 2021), medical education (Milan et al., 2011; Bing-You et al., 2018) and self-assessment literature (Yan & Brown, 2017). Feedback and advice requests, interactive cover sheets and self-directed feedback seeking were mentioned as promoting solicited feedback. Such feedback is likely to lead to better uptake as the requested information is directly relevant to students’ needs. Professor Carless left us with two puzzles – the first one related to the relationship between feedback seeking and feedback literacy (is one the sub-set/ antecedent of another?); the second one concerning the often-contentious terminologies (how similar or different are eliciting, inquiry, monitoring, feedback and help seeking?).

As promised in the seminar’s title, Professor Carless outlined future research directions including:

  • interventions encouraging feedback seeking to make a stronger case for its benefits to student learning, and
  • studies exploring synergies between higher education and parallel literatures.

In the Q&A, facilitated by CRADLE’s Associate Director Professor Phillip Dawson, we could witness how academics seek feedback when Professor Carless sought Professor Dawson’s advice on how best to position a single case study, providing a perfect illustration of how to take advantage of opportunities.

An equally engaging parallel discussion was happening in the chat, as is often the case with CRADLE seminars, with participants raising issues such as the impact of teacher feedback literacy on student feedback seeking, managing feedback seeking in large classes as well as equity issues.

I found it interesting to hear from Stephanie, who provided an important student perspective both during the presentation and the Q&A session. Stephanie emphasized the relational and social aspects of feedback seeking and outlined her motives to seek feedback which included improving the quality of her work and impression management.

While gaining insights into feedback seeking behaviours and practices of such highly motivated students as Stephanie is valuable in enhancing our pedagogical approaches, we also need to explore the barriers to feedback seeking of lower achieving students. Moving beyond student-teacher interactions to investigate strategies and motivations to seek feedback from peers, materials and proximal resources would be another useful research direction in line with the new paradigm approaches to feedback.

If you are interested in watching or listening to the seminar, including the Q&A, please feel free to access the recording via the CRADLE YouTube channel.

Don’t forget, CRADLE Seminar Series #5: Developing students’ evaluative judgements: pedagogical activities and practices by CRADLE graduate Dr Abbas Mehrabi Boshrabadi and CRADLE PhD candidate Juan Fischer will be held on Tuesday 7 June 2022 at 2pm (AEDT). Be part of the event by registering now!

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