Classifying and evaluating assessment feedback practices

Palmer-Brown, Dominic, Cai, Fang Fang and Patel, Preeti (2016) Classifying and evaluating assessment feedback practices. In: ICERI2016 Conference, 14-16 November 2016, Spain.


The provision of assessment feedback to students is an area which has received much interest in modern education, particularly in the Higher Education context. As current pedagogic practices strongly encourage the provision of feedback and given also the advances in digital technology, feedback mechanisms are becoming ever more sophisticated. However, considering that a great deal of effort is expended on timely, actionable and constructive feedback by tutors, the student perception of the value of the feedback given to them is not as positive as it could be. Currently a multitude of feedback practices have been developed and utilised, though with varying degrees of productiveness. Research in this area is understandably extremely broad as subject disciplines, use of technology, assessment types, methods and tools, educator preferences, student audience and peer and self-assessment capability all have a significant part to play. Given that the approaches to providing feedback are myriad, it is desirable to advance a systematic method of understanding the most constructive feedback types. This paper describes the development of a taxonomical classification which provides structure, order and frame to current popular practices that have evolved during the last decade. The taxonomy is then evaluated with the use of dimensions such as effectiveness/impact, satisfaction, adoption/engagement and quantity of feedback. The main finding of the taxonomical evaluation is the significance of developmental feed-forward guidance with which students are able to self-regulate and evaluate themselves. The paper concludes that this powerful combination should underpin further investigations into how assessment and feedback provision can be optimised for the experiential learning domain in general and to the work-based learning area in particular.

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