“Examining students’ perceptions and future use of feedback and grades” (Area 6)

Clare Rhoden and Billy Hunt (ISES)

In 2014, 83% of Sport and Exercise Science students accessed online assignment feedback yet National Student Survey scores suggest improvements to help students understand their feedback would be worthwhile. Student perceptions of feedback are variable (Weaver 2007) and disengagement from the learning environment occurs when students are unable to cope with lower than expected grades and feedback (Nussbaum and Steel 2007). This project explores students understanding of formative and summative feedback and analyses their engagement with assignment feedback/grades in the preparation of future assignments. Focus groups with sports students (n=19, 10 males, 9 females, Level 4 n=4, Level 5 n=8, Level 6 n=6) together with online survey data (Levels 4-61) provided a mixed-method exploration of students understanding of feedback, perceptions and preferences of type of feedback, its functionality and their engagement with this feedback. Initial emerging themes reveal a shift in ‘requirements and use of feedback’ for students from Levels 4 to 6. All Levels emphasize the importance of ‘gaining reassurance’ and annotated comments in text were preferred. Full analysis will use Kahu’s (2013) conceptual model of student engagement to analyse affective, cognitive and behavioural engagement and offer strategies to enable more students to benefit from the feedback process.

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