What feedback do students want?

Year: 2007

Author: Rowe, Anna, Wood, Leigh

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Effective and high quality feedback has been identified as a key element of quality teaching, and such arguments are well supported by the findings of meta-analyses studies. Despite this, feedback has been largely neglected in research to date, particularly from the students’ point of view. For example, the Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) has only two questions which relate directly to feedback, and these CEQ results show feedback continues to be a common source of student dissatisfaction. An increasing reliance on written correspondence, brought on by increasing student/staff ratios, and a growth in online/distance education, means that for many students, tutor comments on assignments and exams provide the only source of feedback on their performance.

This paper explores student perceptions of feedback. Undergraduate economic and finance students enrolled at Macquarie University were invited to attend focus groups and individual interviews. A questionnaire will be developed from themes identified in the focus groups and will be administered to a large group of undergraduate students in the second part of this study. This paper reports on the focus groups and the themes that emerged from the data.