Review: CRADLE Seminar Series #5 – Investigating productive feedback practices

Dr Ying Zhan (Jane), assistant professor at the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at The Education University of Hong Kong, reviews our most recent seminar. In seminar #5 CRADLE’s Dr Bianka Malecka and Dr Lasse X Jensen presented their research into feedback. Dr Zhan is currently undertaking an academic visitation with CRADLE and will be presenting her own seminar on feedback this afternoon.

With the shift in the feedback paradigm, there is now increased emphasis on students’ interactions with feedback, rather than just feedback given by teachers. As a result, it is crucial to ensure that students engage effectively with feedback. In a recent CRADLE seminar, Dr Bianka Malecka, a CRADLE PhD graduate, and Dr Lasse X Jensen, a graduate of both CRADLE and the University of Copenhagen, highlighted the importance of using ipsative feedback interventions and feedback encounters to facilitate student engagement with feedback and enhance their learning.

Dr Bianka Malecka

During the seminar Dr Malecka presented the findings from two interrelated empirical studies. The first study used e-portfolios, structured by sequential tasks, to examine the impact of ipsative feedback processes on student uptake of feedback, with students setting goals, reflecting, peer-assessing each other’s work, and receiving personalised feedback from teachers. Dr Malecka argued that the design of the ipsative feedback processes activated students’ inner feedback mechanism by allowing them to compare their performance across consecutive and similar tasks. This, in turn, resulted in students’ self-regulated learning, including goal setting, self-evaluation, and monitoring. The first study served as a catalyst for the second empirical work, where Dr Malecka followed up with the same participants to see how their feedback histories influenced their feedback practices across different learning contexts. She found that students adjusted and constructed their feedback practices by drawing on their past feedback experiences and adapting them to different disciplinary, institutional, and pedagogical contexts.

Dr Lasse X Jensen

Dr Jensen utilized “feedback encounters” to analyse and comprehend feedback processes and their impact on learning. He defined a feedback encounter as

“An interaction between a student and information from individuals and/or artifacts that is relevant to the student’s work and assists the student in addressing the three feedback questions: Where am I going? How am I doing? What’s next?”

Using digital ethnography methodology, he collected 80 feedback encounters and categorised them into three types: elicited feedback encounters, formal feedback encounters, and incidental feedback encounters, based on who initiated the feedback. He then examined the features of productive feedback encounters. Dr Jensen found that simply challenging assumptions is insufficient for productive feedback encounters. Timing is also critical, as students are more receptive to challenging feedback either before starting a task or while working on it.

In this seminar two presenters examined feedback processes from different perspectives, namely ipsative feedback processes and feedback encounters. They both recognise the active role of students in feedback processes and conceptualise feedback processes as intertwined with feedback history, relational factors, and contextual factors. Their studies shed light on scaffolded feedback designs and future research on feedback practices and processes from ecological perspectives.

If you missed the Seminar, you can catch up on our YouTube channel or our Seminar blog page.

Upcoming Events – 2pm today!

Don’t forget, CRADLE Seminar Series 2023 #6: An ecological interpretation of Hong Kong undergraduates’ perceptions of feedback literacy with Dr Ying Zhan will be held on today at 2pm. Don’t miss out and register now!

CRADLE Associate Research Fellow

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