The many facets of feedback: CRADLE double seminar

Feedback is such a popular topic for research, it’s not surprising that CRADLE had to run a double seminar with two international guest speakers – Dr Edd Pitt, from the Centre of the Study of Higher Education, University of Kent (UK), and Rachelle Esterhazy, PhD student from the Department of Education, University of Oslo (Norway). Edd and Rachelle both shared insights from their work on students’ experiences and interactions with feedback.

Edd first presented two studies he conducted as part of his PhD, focusing on the emotional “backwash” students experienced after receiving feedback on their work. While there were a range of student reactions – some positive and some maladaptive – Edd identified that, overall, pre-determined student experiences and the actual achievement outcome had strong links to students’ emotional reactions, and their subsequent feedback use.

He also established that baseline student feedback literacy was extremely variable – something to keep in mind when designing assessment and feedback.

Rachelle then introduced her research, which tackles the perpetual feedback dilemma: that students don’t do with feedback what we expect them to do.

She presented two case studies from her PhD (the first is published, while the second is a work-in-progress), which revealed the processes that students undertake with each other to understand and process feedback and make sense of the information.

Both presentations generated a lot of lively discussion about feedback. Key takeaway points included:

  • Students aren’t all the same, so we must attend to the differences and variations in their reactions to feedback
  • Feedback messages can be interpreted very differently
  • There’s still a lot of work to be done in understanding how to do feedback, and do it well!
  • We need to design learning opportunities that give students opportunities to make meaning of feedback

You can view Edd’s and Rachelle’s slides from their presentations here:

Category list: CRADLE Seminar Series, News

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