The focus, function and framing of feedback information: linguistic and content analysis of intext feedback comments

Derham, Cathrine and Balloo, Kieran ORCID: and Winstone, Naomi (2021) The focus, function and framing of feedback information: linguistic and content analysis of intext feedback comments. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. pp. 1-14. ISSN 0260-2938

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In-text comments, in the form of annotations on students’ work, are a form of feedback information that should guide students to take action. Both the focus of the in-text comments, and the ways in which they are linguistically communicated, have potential to impact upon the way in which they are perceived by students. This study reports on an analysis of 2101 in-text comments added by markers to 60 summative essays from two disciplines. The majority of comments, regardless of the grade awarded, were found to be directed at the task performance, rather than relating to the level of process or self-regulation. Work awarded higher grades received fewer annotations; these essays were found to include more feedback comments expressing a positive tone, with limited opportunities for informing further development. Work awarded lower grades mainly received corrective comments, as well as comments characterised by interrogative language and words expressing risk. It is argued that the linguistic style may influence engagement with in-text comments, impacting upon students’ affective and emotional states, and their level of cognitive engagement with the feedback information. Recommendations for markers’ practices are identified, to facilitate the opportunities for engagement and action that in-text comments might afford.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2022 06:59
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2022 05:06
Uncontrolled Keywords: annotations; feedback modalities; linguistic style; self-regulation; written feedback
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130303 Education Assessment and Evaluation
Fields of Research (2020): 39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390402 Education assessment and evaluation
39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390303 Higher education
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