Piloting a tool for enhancing secondary students’ engagement with assessment feedback

Year: 2018

Author: Van der Kleij, Fabienne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Feedback based on evidence from assessment is widely recognised as critical to student learning. However, decades of research have produced inconsistent results about feedback effectiveness. Recent research recognises that characteristics of the feedback message and how it is sent only partially explain feedback effectiveness. Such research has identified student engagement with feedback as a critical link between feedback and learning improvement. This study aimed to pilot a new feedback support tool to enhance secondary education students’ engagement with feedback. The tool intends to help students record feedback from multiple sources, interpret the feedback, prioritise areas for improvement, and formulate actions they need to take to improve. The tool also asks students to evaluate the impact of their feedback use as a further follow-up strategy. This small-scale innovative study was conducted in one English Year 8 class in Queensland, Australia. Data were collected through individual interviews with the teacher and focus group interviews with students, prior to and following a 3-week whole-class trial of the feedback support tool, and by collecting students’ feedback tools. Data analysis served to provide preliminary evidence on the tool’s effectiveness, whilst informing modifications to enhance its usability for use in practice and further research.