The Role of Recursive Feedback: A Case Study of e-Learning in Emergency Operations

By Katia Muck.

Published by The International Journal of Adult, Community and Professional Learning

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: October 30, 2015 $US5.00

This article reports a study conducted on a pilot e-learning course organized by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to offer the affiliates the opportunity of further learning from their previous field experiences on emergency operations. The main objective was to identify and understand reflective thinking and knowledge production through a peer review activity developed in the online learning environment “Scholar.” The investigation was guided by the following research questions: How effective was peer feedback for the development of the participants’ written case studies; What are participants’ perceptions regarding their learning experience with the peer-review activity? How was the experience of providing feedback? How was the experience of receiving feedback? How did these experiences influence the elaboration of the final version of their writing; and, What are the implications of peer-to-peer learning in online environments for participants’ professional development? Directed by Cope and Kalantzis’ (2012) “New Learning” conceptual framework, 267 people with different IFRC affiliations and from 83 countries enrolled in the course, and 162 of them participated in this research. Participants of the course engaged in a writing and rewriting process activity where they had to write a case study according to the established rubrics, peer review case studies from three other peers based on the rubrics and on the review criteria, and self review their own case study based on the same criteria as well as rewrite it. Data was gathered from: updates in “Community” (space for social interaction); feedback the reviewers provided on the case studies; the first and second versions of the case study, and the pre and post-course surveys. “Scholar Analytics” provided the results for the closed questions while the open-ended questions were classified into data-driven categories, as well as the updates from “Community.” First and second drafts of case studies from six participants were analyzed to identify the changes from one version to the other and compared with the feedback they received to detect the impact of the feedback on the second version. Results show that participants: enjoyed the experience of writing the case study; appreciated the experience of providing feedback through peer reviews to their peers; recognized that the feedback they received from the reviewers were helpful; acknowledged that providing feedback to peers through peer reviews helped them to think about their own case study. In addition, participants took into consideration the feedback from their peers when rewriting their case studies.

Keywords: Recursive Feedback, e-Learning, Emergency Operations, IFRC

The International Journal of Adult, Community and Professional Learning, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp.1-25. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: October 30, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.327MB)).

Katia Muck

Federal University of Santa Catarina, Santa Catarina, Brazil