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Annotated bibliography

Bayerlein, L. (2014). Students’ feedback preferences: How do students react to timely and automatically generated assessment feedback? Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 39(8), 916-931.

               The researchers found that Australian undergraduate and postgraduate accounting students were not able to differentiate between timely and extremely timely feedback.  Automatically generated feedback (e.g., addition of pre-written feedback statements) was perceived to be more constructive than manual feedback and researchers suggest that it may lighten the teacher’s workload in high student to teacher ratios.

Boud, D., Lawson, R., & Thompson, D. G. (2015). The calibration of student judgement through self-assessment: Disruptive effects of assessment patterns. Higher Education Research & Development, 34(1), 45-59.

               In this Australian study, 1162 business students self-assessed their assignments (using both criterion and an overall grade) over more than two progressive course modules with related content and skills.  These were compared with tutor grades.  Low ability students consistently overestimated grades at all stages placing them at risk in academic performance and self-assessment competency.  High ability students consistently underestimated grades.  While mid-range ability students overestimated at the beginning, there was with no significant difference between the tutor’s assessment and their own.  Disruptive assessment patterns inhibited the ability of students to make accurate assessments and convergence occurred more rapidly with related types of tasks, although some inconsistencies in findings were apparent.

Boud, D., & Molloy, E. (2013). Rethinking models of feedback for learning: the challenge of design. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 38(6), 698-712.

               This paper explores the importance of students being active participants in the feedback process.  Two models are considered, neither of which are common in higher education.  Feedback Mark 1 requires the teacher to provide feedback and observe the consequences.  For this system to be effective, a baseline of student ability must be known and a follow up task of a similar nature is required to discern the effect of initial feedback.  In Feedback Mark 2, the student is an active participant, equipped to learn beyond the immediate task.  Four characteristics of this type of feedback are outlined.  The curriculum must allow for the inclusion of instructor feedback and both self and peer feedback in an environment that fosters trust on multiple levels.

Cramp, A. (2011). Developing first-year engagement with written feedback. Active Learning in Higher Education, 12(2), 113-124.

               In this case study, interviews were conducted with 15 university education students who were paired with a supportive, experienced, subject lecturer who acted as a co-constructivist mentor.  Students were asked to write reflective comments on their feedback using a self-assessment proforma.  This was followed by a meeting with the personal tutor, allowing for dialogue around emotional reactions to the task.  Concept mapping of the interview data identified four key themes that outlined the benefits of the program: better understanding of study and assessment skills, reading feedback as specific and generic, interpreting feedback, and developing academic identities.

Handley, K., & Williams, L. (2011). From copying to learning: Using exemplars to engage students with assessment criteria and feedback. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 36(1), 95-108. doi: 10.1080/02602930903201669

               To tackle the problem of lack of student engagement with feedback, second-year undergraduate students were given access to annotated and marked exemplar assignments and were given the opportunity to post comments or questions to tutors and peers on a discussion board prior to the submission date (NB: No student chose to use the discussion facility).  While the facility was well utilised and highly valued by students, there were no increases in student marks when compared with a previous cohort, despite student comments suggesting it had helped to improve their work.  Various suggestions are offered to account for this surprising lack of improvement in marks and the characteristics of a good good exemplar are given.

Irwin, B., Hepplestone, S., Holden, G., Parkin, H. J., & Thorpe, L. (2013). Engaging students with feedback through adaptive release. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 50(1), 51-61. doi: 10.1080/14703297.2012.748333

               In an attempt to encourage feedback engagement, both teachers and first year students participated in this study on adaptive release where electronic feedback was provided before marks were released.  This papers focuses on the adaptive release of grades and looks at how it can shift the focus from grades to reflection and changes in student behaviour.  Three main benefits were described by students:  a greater level of engagement with the feedback, enhanced memory of the feedback and a greater tendency to set targets for improvement in future tasks.  Overall concerns about feedback identified by students included numerous misunderstandings of the purpose of written reflection, over-occupation with the grade as the primary goal and the extra work associated with reflection.  For teachers, comments about reflective processes were brief, focusing on the challenges of seeing the benefits in the short term.  Benefits and concerns are outlined and recommendations for implementation given.

Orsmond, P., Maw, S. J., Park, J. J. R., Gomez, S., & Crook, A. C. (2013). Moving feedback forward: Theory to practice. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 38(2), 240-252. doi: 10.1080/02602938.2011.625472

               This article is written based on the need to move from the simple monologue of tutor feedback to a more valuable dialogue model.  Notions important to moving feedback forward such as self-regulation, dialogue and social learning have been used to develop a practical framework (GOALS) to improve student learning from feedback.  Steps include grasping objectives, orientating the student to ‘self’, actions required to provide dialogue opportunities and enhance self-regulation, learning evaluation opportunities, and strategies for moving on.

Peterson, E. R., Brown, G. T. L., & Jun, M. C. (2015). Achievement emotions in higher education: A diary study exploring emotions across an assessment event. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 42, 82-96.

               Assessment emotions (AEs) in undergraduate students in New Zealand were tracked using multiple structured learning log entries made the week prior to a test, during the week of the test, and during the week following a test (including responses prior to and following the release of test results.)  As expected, both positive and negative AEs were experienced.  Anticipation of the test decreased the positive AEs and increased the negative AEs.  The reverse effect was seen following the test.  Emotions following the test were related to GPA and test score.  Small levels of anxiety activated greater student achievement.

Pulfrey, C., Darnon, C., & Butera, F. (2013). Autonomy and task performance: Explaining the impact of grades on intrinsic motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(1), 39-57.

               Year 7 to 9 pupils in Switzerland were divided into three groups and exposed to anagram-solving sessions.  For two of the groups, students were told that the score would contribute to their mark in their French class.  In the high-grade group, performance was measured based on the number of correct anagrams in a given time frame.  In the standard-grade group, the marks were weighted based on the length of the anagram.  The third group were encouraged to complete as many anagrams as possible and to have fun.  Measures of task autonomy, task interest, continuing motivation for the task and task self-efficacy were made.  Extensive statistical analysis produced an integrative model showing that intrinsic motivation was enhanced by both high-grade and no-grade conditions.  In addition, task autonomy explained higher levels of both task interest and continuing motivation in the no-grade condition.

Quinton, S., & Smallbone, T. (2010). Feeding forward: using feedback to promote student reflection and learning – a teaching model. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 47(1), 125-135. doi: 10.1080/14703290903525911

               A structured and systematic approach was used to prompt second and third year management students to reflect during class time on the assignment feedback recently received.  Questions included how they felt about the feedback, what they thought about the feedback and what actions they could take to improve in the next assignment.  A simple model of this process involving reflection, recording and forward action was developed and could provide practical guidance for teachers interested in closing the gap between reflection and feeding forward.

Sopina, E., & McNeill, R. (2015). Investigating the relationship between quality, format and delivery of feedback for written assignments in higher education. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 40(5), 666-680. doi: 10.1080/02602938.2014.945072

                This study attempted to see how the provision of electronic assessment feedback for a second semester cohort compared with paper-based marking.  Questionnaires based on quality, format and delivery method were used for both markers and students, along with qualitative comments.  There were no changes in student satisfaction with the quality and format of the feedback for the two assessment tasks.  A number of important characteristics of feedback were outlined including clarity of language, the ease of submission and return of assignments, timeliness of feedback, and specifically relating feedback to the mark.

Taylor, C., & Burke da Silva, K. (2014). An analysis of the effectiveness of feedback to students on assessed work. Higher Education Research & Development, 33(4), 794-806.

               Australian tertiary students (undergraduate and postgraduate from numerous departments) were asked to complete a 10 question survey about the types of assessment feedback received and to write comments.  Students found more personalised forms of feedback such as written comments more useful in improving subsequent performance than some types of marking templates.  The researchers note that feedback needs to be tailored to specific disciplines to achieve better learning outcomes.  A unique feature of this project involved a workshop for the teaching staff of the surveyed students to discuss the survey findings.  Numerous teaching staff cited the use of marking templates to reduce the need for detailed written comments and to ease the pressure created by high teaching loads.  They were frustrated by the number of students who did not even collect marked work, preventing students from acting on detailed feedback.  Ideas for providing more meaningful feedback are given, including the need to improve the design of marking templates.

Yang, M., & Carless, D. (2013). The feedback triangle and the enhancement of dialogic feedback processes. Teaching in Higher Education, 18(3), 285-297.

               Based on an extensive literature review, a framework is proposed to promote dialogic feedback.  A dynamic interplay exists between the dimensions of the feedback triangle: cognitive (content of feedback), social-affective (social and interpersonal negotiation of feedback) and structural (the organisation and management of feedback).  These interactions should be considered when formulating and organising feedback.  Six key features of effective feedback are derived from the dimensions of the model and barriers to successful implementation considered.

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