Students’ and Academics’ Perceptions of Receiving and Giving Feedback: Where are the Gaps?

By Kalpana Goel and Bronwyn Ellis.

Published by The International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation

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As acknowledged in the literature, students’ successful engagement with learning is not their sole responsibility, but an integrated effort of students, staff, and institution to enhance good learning outcomes. This paper posits that some congruence of student and staff perceptions of receiving and giving feedback is vital so that feedback is digested and acted upon to enhance learning, and it compares staff and student views of feedback in an undergraduate social work program. The data were collected through staff interviews and workshop discussions; and a student online survey and focus group discussions at two regional locations. Input from students, presented in more detail elsewhere, focused on their perceptions and experiences of receiving feedback in terms of quality, quantity, modality and usefulness. In this paper we focus on university teachers' perspectives, comparing them with those of the students. Staff interviews probed questions such as their experience of giving feedback to their students, and their views on the importance of feedback in assisting students to engage with their learning. Although participating students and staff generally reported a high overall satisfaction rate with receiving and providing feedback, some areas of concern warrant attention, particularly variations and inconsistencies in marking and feedback on assessed work, as well as the failure of some students to engage with and learn from the feedback provided.

Keywords: Feedback, Assessment, Higher Education, Academics, Undergraduates, Perceptions, Experience

International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp.29-43. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 367.988KB).

Dr. Kalpana Goel

Lecturer, Social Work and Rural Practice, University of South Australia, Whyalla, South Australia, Australia

Dr. Kalpana Goel is lecturer and researcher in the Social Work and Rural Practice Unit at the Centre for Regional Engagement (CRE), and has responsibility for coordinating research for honours and higher degree research students at CRE. Her research interests include migration, gender issues, aged care issues, higher education, and university–community engagement.

Ms Bronwyn Ellis

Researcher, Centre for Rural Health and Community Development, University of South Australia, Whyalla, South Australia, Australia

Bronwyn Ellis is involved in research activities as a member of the Centre for Rural Health and Community Development, based at the University of South Australia’s Whyalla campus. Her research interests include lifelong learning, rural and regional education, crosscultural issues, and university–community engagement.