Commenced in January 2007
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Investigating Chinese Students' Engagement with Teacher Feedback: Multiple Case Studies in a UK University

Authors: Fangfei Li

Abstract:

This research was conducted to explore how Chinese overseas students, who rarely received teacher feedback during their undergraduate studies in China, engaged in a different feedback provision context in the UK universities. In particular, this research provides some insights into Chinese students’ perspectives on how they made sense of the teacher feedback they obtained and how they took it on board in their assignments. Research questions in this study are 1) What are Chinese overseas students’ perceptions of teacher feedback on courses in UK higher education? 2) How do they respond to the teacher feedback they obtained? 3) What factors might influence their engagement with teacher feedback? Multiple case studies of five Chinese overseas students in a UK university have been carried out to address the research questions. The main data collection instruments are various types of semi-structured interviews, consisting of background interviews, scenario-based activities, stimulated recall sessions and retrospective interviews. Research findings indicate that student engagement with teacher feedback is a complex learning process incorporating several stages: from initial teacher input to ultimate transformational learning. Apart from students interpreting teachers’ comments/suggestions by themselves, students’ understandings of and responses to teacher feedback could also be influenced by pre-submission guidance, peer discussion, use of exemplars and post-submission discussion with teachers. These are key factors influencing students to make use of teacher feedback. Findings also reveal that the level of students’ reflections on tutor feedback influences the quality of their assignments and even their future learning. To sum up, this paper will discuss the current concepts of teacher feedback in existing studies and research findings of this study from which reconceptualization of teacher feedback has occurred.

Keywords: Student Engagement, Chinese students, teacher feedback, the UK higher education

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