Robinson, Sarita Jane, Pope, Debbie and Holyoak, Lynda
Can we meet their expectations? Experiences and perceptions of feedback in first year undergraduate students.
Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 38
Student ratings of satisfaction with feedback are consistently lower than other teaching and learning elements within the UK higher education sector. However, reasons for this dissatisfaction are often unclear to teaching staff, who believe their students are receiving timely, extensive and informative feedback. This study explores possible explanations for this mismatch between staff and students’ perceptions of feedback quality. One hundred and sixty-six first year undergraduate students completed a questionnaire detailing their experiences of feedback on coursework before and throughout their first year at university. Results indicate that whilst procedural elements of feedback (timeliness and legibility) are considered satisfactory, past experiences (pre-university) may influence student expectations of feedback. Some students had a severe, negative emotional response to the feedback provided and few students engaged in self-help (independent learning) behaviours to improve their performance following feedback. We consider how changes in feedback practices could improve students’ use of, and satisfaction with, their feedback.