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Emotions Experienced by Instructors Delivering Written Feedback and Dialogic Feed-Forward

By Jennifer Hill, Kathy Berlin, Julia Choate, Lisa Cravens-Brown, Lisa McKendrick-Calder, Susan Smith

The research presented in this paper emerged from the 2019 ISSOTL International Collaborative Writing Group (ICWG) initiative that took place in Atlanta, USA. ICWGs bring together faculty, staff, and students to co-author articles on learning and teaching on topics of shared interest from an international perspective. The initial theme for our group was pedagogic partnerships and how these might enhance student and instructor wellbeing in higher education. 

Meeting for the first time online in May 2019, we quickly decided that we were interested in relational assessment and we devised an ambitious programme of research to investigate the role of instructor-student dialogic feed-forward in supporting a conscious encounter with emotions in learners, encouraging them to develop resilient academic behaviours. 

By the time our group met in Atlanta in October, we had gained ethical approval to gather data and we prepared what was to be our first co-authored article by the ICWG submission deadline. This paper explored the emotional responses of students to assessment feedback and we were proud to see it published in the ICWG Special Section of volume 9 (1). We continued our analyses to produce a second article, published in volume 9 (2), which addressed our primary aim of examining the impact of relational feed-forward on students’ affective responses to assessment. 

During the research, the three instructors who had embraced the assessment intervention articulated the profound impact it had on their practice. As we enjoyed working together so much as a team, we decided to continue our research to tell the story you can read in this article: the emotions experienced by instructors related to assessment, and how instructors might manage their emotions positively to help secure educational benefits of feedback. 

We had a truly joyous and productive time working together, bonding in-person in Atlanta and then online during global Covid-19 lockdowns. If you have the opportunity to join an ISSOTL ICWG in future, we all say jump at the chance! 

Read the full TLI article here.

Image: Our ISSOTL 2019 International Collaborative Writing Group members. Pictured L-R are Lisa McKendrick-Calder, Julia Choate, Lisa Cravens-Brown, Kathy Berlin, Jennifer Hill, and Susan Smith.

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