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Title: Feedback in technology based instruction : learner preferences
Author: Lefevre, David John
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2013
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This research investigates learners’ requirements for the format of feedback when using technology based instruction (TBI). A novel approach is taken by focusing on learners’ preferences for such feedback. The primary method of data collection is to provide subjects with a range of options for TBI feedback and observe those options they choose to view. Feedback has a powerful effect on learning. It is considered one of the ten most significant influences on learner achievement (Hattie and Timperley 2007: 83). Prior research into TBI feedback has focused on the relationship between the format of such feedback and scores achieved in subsequent performance tests. Results have been inconclusive and the format of TBI feedback that should be provided to learners is unclear. This has led to calls for an increased focus on the learners’ perspective of TBI feedback (Mory 2003: 770; Handley, Price, et al. 2011: 548). This research furthers understanding of the learners’ perspective by identifying the format of TBI feedback learners choose to view and factors that affect this choice, hitherto an area not subject to empirical research. The specific focus is learners’ preferences for TBI feedback provided following responses to multiple choice questions. A mixed-method approach is taken comprising technology based observations and semi-structured interviews. In the former, a software tool developed as part of this research delivers items of TBI to students and records their preferences for feedback. Between 2008 and 2010 data were collected on 24 cohorts of students studying one or more of three items of TBI. In total, students responded to 61,929 questions. Results are interpreted through the constructivist perspective and the results are organised into eight themes which are then synthesised with reference to theoretical frameworks to produce a model of learner interaction with TBI feedback. In addition to furthering our understanding of how learners engage with TBI feedback, the results have implications for existing theoretical models and for research aiming to establish the effectiveness of different formats of TBI feedback. For the latter, this research also reveals avenues of future research that potentially address the inconsistent pattern of results found in prior research. No claims are made as to the effectiveness of different feedback formats however a number of recommendations to educators regarding the content, timing and delivery of TBI feedback are suggested.
Supervisor: Cox, Benita Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available