An exploratory investigation into influences of form of digital feedback on learners’ engagement with their feedback

Starr, S. (2016) An exploratory investigation into influences of form of digital feedback on learners’ engagement with their feedback. M.Sc. thesis, University of Edinburgh.


Download (1MB) | Preview


Where digital feedback studies report positive pedagogic outcomes, reasons for such outcomes are often not clear. One possible factor is the nature of learners’ engagement with digital feedback.

With the aim of informing markers’ own action research, this exploratory study investigates how form (as opposed to content) of digital feedback may influence engagement. Within the context of an English university with rapidly growing use of the GradeMark digital feedback tool, and informed by a secondary analysis of a prior survey of learners’ experiences and perceptions of feedback, interviews with learners were conducted to investigate:

How may the ways in which feedback can be presented in the GradeMark digital feedback tool influence undergraduates’ engagement in developmental use of lecturers’ feedback for summative assessment of written coursework?

It was found that GradeMark on-script ‘Bubble Comments’ and off-script ‘Voice Comments’ may both positively influence how valued learners feel and encourage and support their use of feedback for development by positively influencing their motivation and ability to engage. On-script ‘QuickMark Comments’ and off-script ‘General Comments’ and ‘Rubrics’ may negatively influence same. These influences arise from the specific ways feedback can be presented in GradeMark affecting personalisation, specificity and clarity of meaning of feedback, learners’ emotional connection with their marker and by grabbing their attention. Ways in which form may influence content are also identified.

It is recommended that, through their own action research, markers using GradeMark explore the use of Bubble Comments and Voice Comments as alternatives to General Comments, and ‘Grading Forms’ as an alternative to Rubrics. Markers using other digital feedback tools may consider using on-script annotations and digital audio feedback as alternatives to off-script paragraphs of digital written feedback, and free-form rather than pre-set assessment criteria-related comments. Specific considerations in doing so are suggested. Institutional strategy considerations in relation to use of assessment criteria and accessibility of GradeMark on mobile devices are also highlighted.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1025 Teaching (Principles and practice) > LB1028.3 Computers in education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit
Depositing User: Mr Simon Starr
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2016 14:59
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2016 15:05

Actions (login required)

Update Item (CReaTE staff only) Update Item (CReaTE staff only)


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics


Connect with us

Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00