Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

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    Investigating how students receive, interpret, and respond to teacher feedback
    Mandouit, Luke William ( 2020)
    Feedback has been studied extensively in relation to its impact on student learning and is established as a high impact intervention on achievement, emotions, confidence, and motivation. In order to be effective, feedback must be timely, actionable, related to learning goals, and provide advice as to next steps in the student’s learning. Yet research has also demonstrated the significant variability relating to the influence, with research suggesting that effective strategies vary based on the characteristics of the learner. However, the research is dominated by a focus on the giving of feedback and far less on how students receive feedback. Studies into student perceptions of feedback is lacking with little known about how the information provided is listened to, or received, along with the emotional responses that feedback may stimulate, and how this may influence learning. The aim of this thesis is to investigate student perceptions of teacher feedback, and to develop a deeper understanding of how students receive, interpret, and respond to it. Employing a cross-sectional research design using multi-methods, this study consisted of a large-scale questionnaire in which students responded to various feedback samples and gave insights as to their perceived usefulness and how each might engage the student. A smaller sample of students then participated in semi-structured interviews based on the themes that emerged from the survey data, providing insights as to how students respond to, make sense of, and apply feedback. Findings give insights into a range of feedback processes. Firstly, learners assign their own meaning to the feedback regardless of whether the information provided to them is explicit or not. Secondly, they assign this meaning based on prior feedback experiences, capacity to self-reflect, or through dialogue with teacher or peers. Thirdly, the emotional affect of the information provided influences its effect on learning. Finally, students have clear views about what constitutes effective feedback practice to enhance learning.