Deakin University

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From teacher transmission of information to student feedback literacy: Activating the learner role in feedback processes

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-28, 03:05 authored by David Carless
For feedback processes to be effective, they need to involve students actively in generating, processing and responding to feedback information. Teacher transmission approaches are unlikely to provide a good investment of time and resources because they fail to draw sufficiently on student agency. In this conceptual article, it is argued that students need to be at the centre of feedback processes in making productive use of feedback inputs of various forms. The educator role lies in designing learning environments which provide plentiful opportunities for students to make evaluative judgments and take action in response to feedback information. The analysis is framed through the interlocking concepts of internal feedback which students generate for themselves; and students’ feedback literacy, the capacities to involve themselves productively in feedback processes. Student peer review with a written response, and using exemplars as proxies for teacher feedback are proposed as pedagogic options which stimulate the production of internal feedback and promote student feedback literacy. These two learning activities are analyzed to illustrate research-informed ways of enabling students to generate internal feedback by making comparisons between their own production and that of others. Digital affordances and possibilities are also discussed with particular emphasis on video peer feedback and annotated online exemplars. The main implications for practice are summarized in relation to educator and student roles, and related digital affordances. Challenges for implementation are discussed and addressed. An important consideration is to develop workload-friendly strategies which avoid the wastefulness of much current unproductive marking practices. The analysis suggests that shared teacher and student feedback literacy carries potential to facilitate principled research-informed ways forward for feedback processes.



Active Learning in Higher Education




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