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2 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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1 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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