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postgraduate thesis: Exploring feedback processes in post-secondary classrooms in Hong Kong : challenges and opportunities

TitleExploring feedback processes in post-secondary classrooms in Hong Kong : challenges and opportunities
Authors
Issue Date2015
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
To, K. [杜嘉欣]. (2015). Exploring feedback processes in post-secondary classrooms in Hong Kong : challenges and opportunities. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5690681
AbstractFeedback is a catalyst for effective learning, but the Student Feedback Questionnaire in my post-secondary institution and the National Student Survey in the UK have revealed students’ lack of satisfaction with this aspect. This study has a dual purpose: exploring the feedback practice of two English teachers in a post-secondary institution in Hong Kong and improving feedback communication in my classrooms. A combined approach of case study and action research was adopted to first identify the challenges in feedback processes and then devise an improvement plan based on empirical data. For the case study, data collection methods encompassed analysis of marked assignments, audio-recordings of verbal feedback sessions, stimulated-recall interviews with teachers and focus group interviews with students. Two major challenges were evident in the feedback processes. First, students found formative feedback not clear enough to improve their subsequent writing because they lacked a clear understanding of task requirements and assessment criteria for feedback interpretation. Second, the use of feedback sandwich gave them a ‘false hope’ of assessment results and undermined their communication trust, despite teachers’ intention of using praise to cushion the impact of negative comments. The findings implied that a trusting relationship was essential for effective feedback communication, and one way of building such relationship involved explaining assessment standards to students and providing guidance to help them achieve required standards. Based on the insights emerging, the action research involved dialogues about exemplars of student work (peer, teacher-led and students’ mini-presentations) to enhance students’ understanding of task requirements and standards in the pre-assessment stage. Open-ended surveys, focus group interviews with students, semi-structured interviews with a critical friend and a self-reflective journal were employed to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. The findings indicated that exemplar dialogues supported feedback processes by establishing a common ground for communication, reducing students’ cognitive load in decoding feedback and developing their self-evaluative capabilities. The theoretical significance of this study is three-fold. First, an explanatory model is constructed to illustrate how institutional, teacher-related and student-related factors interact in influencing feedback processes in the post-secondary institution. Second, the study presents a critique of the feedback sandwich. Instead of using it as a panacea for emotional conflicts, an alternative is to increase students’ immunity to negative feedback through developing their understanding of quality and performing self-assessment. Third, the data show the supporting role of exemplars in feedback processes. Exemplar analysis and production of insights facilitate students’ interpretation of external feedback from teacher and generation of internal feedback for self-regulation. Regarding practical significance, improving feedback communication in the post-secondary context requires appropriate assessment task design and a balance between pre-assessment guidance and post-assessment feedback. Two-stage assignments encourage students to act on formative feedback for reflexive knowledge building. Rather than expending too much effort to sugar-coat negative feedback, an effective strategy involves equipping students with pre-assessment guidance so that they are clear about task goals and required standards. This aids not only comprehension and acceptance of constructive criticism but also development of self-regulated learning.
DegreeDoctor of Education
SubjectMotivation in education - China - Hong Kong
Feedback (Psychology)
Postsecondary education - China - Hong Kong
Communication in education - China - Hong Kong
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/223162

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorTo, Kar-yan-
dc.contributor.author杜嘉欣-
dc.date.accessioned2016-02-19T23:10:06Z-
dc.date.available2016-02-19T23:10:06Z-
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.identifier.citationTo, K. [杜嘉欣]. (2015). Exploring feedback processes in post-secondary classrooms in Hong Kong : challenges and opportunities. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5690681-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/223162-
dc.description.abstractFeedback is a catalyst for effective learning, but the Student Feedback Questionnaire in my post-secondary institution and the National Student Survey in the UK have revealed students’ lack of satisfaction with this aspect. This study has a dual purpose: exploring the feedback practice of two English teachers in a post-secondary institution in Hong Kong and improving feedback communication in my classrooms. A combined approach of case study and action research was adopted to first identify the challenges in feedback processes and then devise an improvement plan based on empirical data. For the case study, data collection methods encompassed analysis of marked assignments, audio-recordings of verbal feedback sessions, stimulated-recall interviews with teachers and focus group interviews with students. Two major challenges were evident in the feedback processes. First, students found formative feedback not clear enough to improve their subsequent writing because they lacked a clear understanding of task requirements and assessment criteria for feedback interpretation. Second, the use of feedback sandwich gave them a ‘false hope’ of assessment results and undermined their communication trust, despite teachers’ intention of using praise to cushion the impact of negative comments. The findings implied that a trusting relationship was essential for effective feedback communication, and one way of building such relationship involved explaining assessment standards to students and providing guidance to help them achieve required standards. Based on the insights emerging, the action research involved dialogues about exemplars of student work (peer, teacher-led and students’ mini-presentations) to enhance students’ understanding of task requirements and standards in the pre-assessment stage. Open-ended surveys, focus group interviews with students, semi-structured interviews with a critical friend and a self-reflective journal were employed to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. The findings indicated that exemplar dialogues supported feedback processes by establishing a common ground for communication, reducing students’ cognitive load in decoding feedback and developing their self-evaluative capabilities. The theoretical significance of this study is three-fold. First, an explanatory model is constructed to illustrate how institutional, teacher-related and student-related factors interact in influencing feedback processes in the post-secondary institution. Second, the study presents a critique of the feedback sandwich. Instead of using it as a panacea for emotional conflicts, an alternative is to increase students’ immunity to negative feedback through developing their understanding of quality and performing self-assessment. Third, the data show the supporting role of exemplars in feedback processes. Exemplar analysis and production of insights facilitate students’ interpretation of external feedback from teacher and generation of internal feedback for self-regulation. Regarding practical significance, improving feedback communication in the post-secondary context requires appropriate assessment task design and a balance between pre-assessment guidance and post-assessment feedback. Two-stage assignments encourage students to act on formative feedback for reflexive knowledge building. Rather than expending too much effort to sugar-coat negative feedback, an effective strategy involves equipping students with pre-assessment guidance so that they are clear about task goals and required standards. This aids not only comprehension and acceptance of constructive criticism but also development of self-regulated learning.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshMotivation in education - China - Hong Kong-
dc.subject.lcshFeedback (Psychology)-
dc.subject.lcshPostsecondary education - China - Hong Kong-
dc.subject.lcshCommunication in education - China - Hong Kong-
dc.titleExploring feedback processes in post-secondary classrooms in Hong Kong : challenges and opportunities-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5690681-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Education-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5690681-

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