Feedback is something we’ve all had experience with – whether good or bad! The research tells us that feedback can be transformational and improve learning outcomes, but in reality, that isn’t always the case. I’m sure we all have stories of how feedback we’ve received has made us feel. I remember receiving tests and papers back covered in red ink; muddling through the feedback, I was sometimes left confused and frustrated as I didn’t know how to use it to improve my work.
I have also heard frustration and confusion from instructors on how to provide feedback that could help students improve. Therefore, during my graduate work I was inspired to work with instructors to investigate the challenges with existing feedback practices and to develop improvements for both students and instructors.
One of the challenges I found with the literature is that the research on feedback practices had all been conducted with either instructors or students, but rarely considered the perspectives of both at the same time. There was also a unique opportunity with this work to add empirical data from Canada to the conversation, as most research has been conducted in Australia and the United Kingdom.
In addition to my supervisory committee, Drs. Kim Koh, Sylvie Roy, and Michele Jacobsen, I am very grateful to the mentorship I received throughout my graduate studies from the faculty at the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning at the University of Calgary, particularly Drs. Cheryl Jeffs, Robin Mueller, Natasha Kenny, and Carol Berenson.
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