Improving Student Achievement Through Feedback
Ever since the groundbreaking work of Black and Wiliam (1998a), the question of how best to present feedback to students has been an international concern. Recent works by Andrade, (2005) and Lipnevich, McCallen, Miles, and Smith (2014) have shown that the use of annotated exemplars holds great promise. In this research, annotated exemplars were contrasted with personalized feedback in a randomized in situ study on writing development at the secondary school level. This study was designed to measure the impact of two different types of feedback on students writing achievement; personalised and annotated exemplars. A further objective was to determine which style of feedback students preferred, and why. Data for the study were gathered through four different sources; pre and post-tests, focus group interviews, student surveys, and a researcher journal. Each of two secondary school English classes, comprising one Year 9 and one Year 10 class, was divided randomly into two groups for teaching of writing. Two different styles of writing were taught during the year: transactional and creative. Each group was given one style of feedback (personalised or an annotated exemplar). This process was reversed when the second writing style was taught. Results of pre-testing and the final writing assessment were recorded. Each of the groups completed an anonymous survey asking them to answer questions around the feedback and their preferences. These data were expanded upon through having students participate in focus groups facilitated by the classroom teacher. The researcher’s journal provided an insight into the time taken to create and deliver the feedback, and record responses of the participants. Most students showed improvement as a result of receiving feedback. An interesting aspect of the results was that the Year 9 group improved most in the first cycle, regardless of the style of feedback given. In the Year 10 group of students, personalised feedback resulted in the highest level of improvement. These findings were supported by discussion in the focus groups. The significance of this study is that it is conducted experimentally in situ and contrasts two feedback styles. Evidence of effective feedback techniques is of importance for teachers seeking to enhance student learning and the quality of their teaching programmes.
Advisor: Berg, David; Smith, Jeffrey
Degree Name: Doctor of Education
Degree Discipline: Education
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Feedback; students; achievement; personalised; annotated; exemplars
Research Type: Thesis