An Exploration of Tutor Feedback on Essays and the Development of a Feedback Guide

Anthea Wilson, The Open University, United Kingdom

Abstract

Feedback on student essays is a central aspect of learning in higher education, and feedback quality is important. An evaluation of existing tutor and student feedback was carried out to determine the relationship between tutor feedback summaries and students’ notes to their tutors, regarding their efforts in response to the feedback. An analytic framework was developed in conjunction with content analysis of these naturally occurring data. Categorising and mapping the categories of feedback longitudinally revealed diverse feedback patterns and trends of diminishing future-oriented feedback during the course. Personal qualitative engagement with the data also revealed examples of unclear feedback. Subsequently, a guide was developed in order to unpack the language surrounding academic writing skills. The guide was piloted with ten volunteer tutors. The study concludes that unpacking the academic language that is frequently applied to writing skills, will support conversations between tutors and students as well as amongst academics.

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Tags

e-learning, distance learning, distance education, online learning, higher education, DE, blended learning, ICT, information and communication technology, internet, collaborative learning, learning management system, MOOC, interaction, LMS,

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