Read a review of Seminar #6 – Perceptions of feedback literacy

Chad Gladovic, one of CRADLE’s PhD students, reviews our most recent seminar held by Dr Ying Zhan (Jane), assistant professor at the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at The Education University of Hong Kong. In this seminar Dr Zhang presented her work about feedback and feedback literacy, part of a longitudinal study commenced in January 2022 and expected to run for two years. 

Dr Zhan’s seminar provided an in-depth analysis of feedback literacy, casting a spotlight on three integral facets.

Dr Ying Zhan presenting the seminar in front of a CRADLE Banner.
  1. Comprehension of feedback literacy from the standpoint of educational institutions and students,
  2. an ecological interpretation of feedback literacy, and,
  3. the unique perspective of students in Hong Kong viewed through the lens of their Confucian-heritage context. 

The contemporary shift in the feedback paradigm has decentralised the role of educators in the feedback process. This altered perspective places students at the forefront of their learning journey, allowing them to actively solicit, interpret, and apply feedback. The subsequent question we face then is, ‘Why is feedback literacy important?‘ 

Studies indicate feedback benefits students only when they foster and utilise feedback literacy in their educational journey. Further, feedback literacy serves as a critical catalyst in cultivating professional skills and honing evaluative judgement. Feedback-literate individuals possess the understanding to assess the quality of work, interpret information from others and comprehend implicit suggestions within the feedback process. This capacity to understand, analyse and act upon feedback translates to invaluable competencies within their professional lives and beyond the academic environment. Contemporary research has drawn attention to learners’ emotional reluctance to engage with feedback, a critical obstacle to developing their feedback literacy capability.

The journey towards achieving feedback literacy requires a willingness to embrace feedback, open-ness to critique, and a commitment to self-improvement.

The seminar’s second segment focused on the ecological interpretation of feedback literacy. It examined Hong Kong students’ experiences of receiving and using feedback, with the influence of Confucian philosophy apparent in their cultural and perceptual underpinnings. These students strongly emphasise humility as a pivotal aspect of self-improvement. They understand that the self-perception process is replete with challenges and setbacks and demands significant effort to triumph over. Recognising these cultural positions and perceptions is crucial in aiding students to become proficient learners and use feedback for their own self-perfection. Notably, a connection between cultural values and feedback literacy has been identified, particularly in attitudes towards modesty and the determined effort to succeed.

In conclusion, the complexities and challenges of feedback literacy warrant further research. Comparative studies between junior and senior students and the expectations of both educators and students regarding feedback literacy are worthy avenues for further investigation. Feedback literacy represents a formidable research task that demands collaborative efforts, incorporating the insights of educators and students alike. 

Future work in feedback

Looking ahead, it is forecasted that the approach towards enhancing feedback literacy will evolve, becoming more nuanced and targeted. Future endeavours could involve applying multidimensional lenses and integrating elements of cultural context, ecological factors and emotional intelligence into the conception of feedback literacy. We can also expect an enhanced focus on collaborative research, bridging the gaps between the learners, educators, and researchers to build a comprehensive understanding of this crucial aspect of education.

One thing remains clear as we continue to navigate the complexities of feedback literacy: its integral role in equipping students with the skills and attitudes necessary for lifelong learning and professional development. Therefore, the need to optimise and continue to explore this critical aspect of education is evident.

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

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Upcoming Events

Don’t forget, CRADLE Seminar Series 2023 #7: Authentic assessment in undergraduate science, with Associate Professor Mags Blackie and Dr Robyn Yucel will be held on Wednesday 12 July at 2pm. Be part of the event by registering now.

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