Precedents to feedback literacy: using an evidence-based approach to reflect on feedback talk

Medland, Emma and Heron, Marion and Balloo, Kieran ORCID: (2022) Precedents to feedback literacy: using an evidence-based approach to reflect on feedback talk. In: International Assessment in Higher Education Conference (AHE 2022), 22 June - 24 June 2022, Manchester, United Kingdom.


Feedback literacy has served to operationalise what Carless (2015) described as a shift from a one-way transmission of feedback to students (i.e. old paradigm), to a commitment to student engagement in the feedback process (i.e. new paradigm). This evolution is providing insight into the nuances of feedback literacy and its application to practice (e.g. Carless & Winstone, 2020; Carless & Boud, 2018; Sutton, 2012), but fails to consider what feedback looks like and how it can be identified (Heron et al, 2021). Whilst certain forms of feedback are easily identifiable (e.g. written feedback on assessed tasks), others are more troublesome due to their heterogeneity (e.g. verbal feedback) and require support in recognising feedback. This is perhaps why most feedback research focuses on post-assessment written feedback. However, feedback talk is the most rich and abundant source of feedback that students are exposed to and yet it has been largely neglected, is under-conceptualised (Heron et al., 2021) and often not perceived as feedback at all, but rather as part of the dialogue of learning and teaching (Medland, 2019).

We define feedback talk as part of naturally occurring classroom dialogic interactions, which is distinct from verbal feedback that is largely associated with assessment tasks. With this in mind, a pilot study (Heron et al., 2021) adopting a linguistic lens to explicate what feedback talk looks like within longer classroom conversations identified ten codes (i.e. the Feedback Talk Framework). This presentation focuses on validation of the Framework through mixed methods using a survey (n = 136) and data-led reflective interviews with staff (n=7). The interviews were thematically analysed and Krippendorff’s alpha analysis was performed to assess the reliability of participant judgements in the survey. Results suggested the Framework could be validated by collapsing the original ten codes into three key feedback talk moves: i. Informing; ii. Confirming and Validating, and; iii. Questioning. Whilst it might seem reductive to isolate feedback talk to a set of codes, they were found to provide a first step in supporting teachers to recognise and reflect upon the multitude of forms of feedback interactions taking place within their classrooms, and for creating opportunities to maximise the impact of feedback. Thus, using an empirically derived framework of feedback talk can support an evidence-based approach to teacher reflection and thus contribute to the development of teacher (and student) feedback literacy.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Speech)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - USQ College (8 Jun 2020 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - USQ College (8 Jun 2020 -)
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2022 23:11
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2022 04:48
Uncontrolled Keywords: feedback literacy; students
Fields of Research (2020): 39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390402 Education assessment and evaluation
47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4704 Linguistics > 470401 Applied linguistics and educational linguistics
39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390303 Higher education
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1601 Learner and learning > 160102 Higher education
16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1603 Teaching and curriculum > 160301 Assessment, development and evaluation of curriculum
13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1302 Communication > 130202 Languages and linguistics

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