Commenced in January 2007
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Investigating Chinese Students' Perceptions of and Responses to Teacher Feedback: Multiple Case Studies in a UK University

Authors: Fangfei Li

Abstract:

Studies on teacher feedback have produced a wide range of findings in aspects of characteristics of good feedback, factors influencing the quality of feedback and teachers’ perspectives on teacher feedback. However, perspectives from students on how they perceive and respond to teacher feedback are still under scrutiny. Especially for Chinese overseas students who come from a feedback-sparse educational context in China, they might have different experiences when engaging with teacher feedback in the UK Higher Education. Therefore, the research aims to investigate and shed some new light on how Chinese students engage with teacher feedback in the UK higher education and how teacher feedback could enhance their learning. Research questions of this study are 1) What are Chinese overseas students’ perceptions of teacher feedback in courses of the UK higher education? 2) How do they respond to the teacher feedback they obtained? 3) What factors might influence their’ engagement with teacher feedback? Qualitative case studies of five Chinese postgraduate students in a UK university have been conducted by employing various types of interviews, such as background interviews, scenario-based interviews, stimulated recall interviews and retrospective interviews to address the research inquiries. Data collection lasted seven months, covering two phases – the pre-sessional language programme and the first semester of the Master’s degree programme. Research findings until now indicate that some factors, such as tutors’ handwriting, implicit instruction and value comments, influence students understanding and internalizing tutor feedback. Except for difficulties in understanding tutor feedback, students’ responses to tutor feedback are also influenced by quantity and quality of tutor-student communication, time constraints and trust to tutor feedback, etc. Findings also reveal that tutor feedback is able to improve students’ learning in aspects of promoting reflection on professional knowledge, promoting students’ communication with peers and tutors, increasing problem awareness and writing with the reader in mind. This paper will mainly introduce the research topic, the methodological procedure and research findings gained until now.

Keywords: Chinese students, students’ perceptions, teacher feedback, the UK higher education

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