An investigation into written comments on assignments: do students find them usable?
Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 34(1) pp. 67–78.
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Students' response to the feedback they receive on written assignments is an important but relatively under-researched aspect of teaching and learning. This paper presents an analysis of over 3000 written comments made on 106 assignments in three course modules in a Technology faculty, and also the results of telephone interviews with 43 of the students whose commented assignment had been analysed. The interviews explored how usable students found the comments, including their response to specific comments that their tutor had made on the assignment. When the results from the interviews were matched to the types of comment found in the analysis, it became apparent that students find some types of comment considerably more usable. These findings are discussed in the light of the current state of assessment practice, and possible future avenues for research in this area are suggested.
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