What do students want most from written feedback information? Distinguishing necessities from luxuries using a budgeting methodology

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Abstract

Feedback is a key concern for higher education practitioners, yet there is little evidence concerning the aspects of assessment feedback information that higher education students prioritise when their lecturers’ time and resources are stretched. One recent study found that in such circumstances, students actually perceive feedback information itself as a luxury rather than a necessity. We first re-examined that finding by asking undergraduates to ‘purchase’ characteristics to create the ideal lecturer, using budgets of differing sizes to distinguish necessities from luxuries. Contrary to the earlier research, students in fact considered good feedback information the single biggest necessity for lecturers to demonstrate. In a second study we used the same method to examine the characteristics of feedback information that students value most. Here, the most important perceived necessity was guidance on improvement of skills. In both studies, students’ priorities were influenced by their individual approaches to learning. These findings permit a more pragmatic approach to building student satisfaction in spite of growing expectations and demands.

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  • Written feedback information for students

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Assessment and evaluation in Higher Education on 20/8/15 available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/02602938.2015.1075956

    Accepted author manuscript, 539 KB, PDF-document

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1237-1253
Number of pages17
JournalAssessment and Evaluation in Higher Education
Volume41
Issue number8
Early online date20 Aug 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Assessment and evaluation in Higher Education on 20/8/15 available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/02602938.2015.1075956 Funding: Higher Education Academy (Grant GEN1024)

    Keywords

  • approaches to learning, feedback, student preferences, teacher characteristics

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