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Are the principles of effective feedback transferable across disciplines? A comparative study of written assignment feedback in Languages and Technology

Fernández-Toro, María; Truman, Michael and Walker, Mirabelle (2013). Are the principles of effective feedback transferable across disciplines? A comparative study of written assignment feedback in Languages and Technology. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 38(7) pp. 816–830.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2012.724381
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Abstract

This paper describes an investigation into the written feedback provided by tutors on Language assignments, together with students’ responses to it. The study replicates a previous study of assignment feedback in Technology in order to determine the extent to which the characteristics underlying common feedback practice and students’ perceptions of effective feedback vary according to discipline. Drawing on two Spanish modules, the researchers analysed over 4000 feedback comments on 72 scripts, identifying their category and depth in accordance with the classification used in the Technology study. With regard to categories, it was found that Language tutors’ comments related more to skills development than to content, the opposite tendency to that observed in Technology. With regard to depth, corrections formed a lower proportion of Language tutors’ comments, but the proportions indicating errors and providing explanations were both greater than in Technology. This analysis was followed by interviews with 20 of the students whose assignment feedback had been analysed. The differences and similarities between the ways feedback is perceived by students of Languages and Technology are discussed. The authors conclude that a methodological approach involving cross-subject replication is a powerful means of uncovering subject-specific assumptions on assignment feedback.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2012 Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1469-297X
Keywords: assignment feedback; student perceptions; effective feedback; depth of feedback
Academic Unit/Department: Education and Language Studies > Languages
Mathematics, Computing and Technology
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 34165
Depositing User: Mirabelle Walker
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2012 08:21
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2014 10:45
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/34165
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