Student feedback and impact on critical writing success research

Posted on 25 February 2015

Congratulations to Department of Education colleague Dr Bill Soden who has successfully defended his thesis, ‘The role of written feedback in the development of critical academic writing’.

Dr Bill Soden

Dr Soden focused on international students’ experience of feedback and its impact on their critical academic writing during one-year taught programmes.

In 2008-9, Dr Soden carried out a pilot study in the Department of Archaeology and the following year did case study research with MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages students in the Department of Education.

The main findings highlighted the way international students often struggled to understand and use feedback. Some key reasons for this were the nature of written feedback itself, the relatively few episodes of formative feedback experienced, which contrasted with summative feedback that was received when students had moved on to new modules.

The general conclusion was that too much is expected of written feedback, which needs to be understood within the wider teaching context.

The research also highlighted the way other modes, such as audio and video commentaries, provide the potential for more effective formative feedback.