Learner-to-educator feedback; acquiescence bias, reliability and learner opinion.

Butler, Orla and Becker, Brett (2011) Learner-to-educator feedback; acquiescence bias, reliability and learner opinion. In: International Conference on Engaging Pedagogy. (Unpublished)


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There is considerable research on the topic of providing feedback to students. Practices such as formative and summative feedback are well researched and have in fact become part of the lexicon of modern pedagogy. The provision of educator to learner feedback (ELF) is one of the key ways students know where they stand in a module or programme and based on this feedback can alter course or focus concentration as necessary. There is less research being conducted in the area of Learner to Educator Feedback (LEF), which learners provide to educators and Institutions, specifically on how this is gathered, influenced, and utilized. There is a particular lack of study on student perception of LEF and the LEF process itself. This also needs to be addressed. Just as ELF can be [should be] pivotal in a learner’s progress in a module or programme, LEF should be a central influence over decisions about improving module and programme delivery. If this feedback is not gathered in a fair and transparent manner, if it is biased, not robust, or not utilized and acted upon correctly, the educator has failed in responding to feedback in the very manner that students are expected to respond to feedback provided to them. Most of all, if learners do not have a positive opinion or response to the feedback they have provided, if they feel that it has not been heeded, they may lose faith in the system. This also may have the consequence of negatively affecting future feedback provided, either consciously or unconsciously. This paper describes a study in the LEF process involving five cohorts of students: B.Sc. I, II, and IV in Computing Science, M.Sc. in Computing Science (MSCC) and M.Sc. in Digital Media (MSCDM) at Griffith College Dublin, in the spring semester of 2011. Over 150 students participated, providing feedback on 23 modules spread across three programmes. A total of exactly 700 forms were analysed during the course of the study which involved the following aspects of LEF: o Robustness, particularly reliability o Acquiescence bias – how does the wording and presentation of questions on a feedback questionnaire introduce bias? Do positively and negatively worded questionnaires measure the same thing? o Do students prefer to fill out paper or online feedback questionnaires? What are the pros and cons of each? o What are student perceptions on the following length and complexity of feedback questionnaires? o Do non-native English speakers feel they have difficulty in providing feedback due to English-language difficulty? o Did students feel that mid-semester feedback had been taken into account by the end of the semester? o Did students feel that the feedback process could be improved with their input?

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Feedback, Feedback Questionnaires, Learner to Educator Feedback, Reliability, Robustness, Student to Teacher Feedback, Feedback Bias, Acquiescence Bias, Cronbach’s Alpha, Quality Assurance
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Divisions: Faculty of Computing Science
Depositing User: Lib Library
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2014 08:54
Last Modified: 24 Aug 2016 09:49
URI: http://go.griffith.ie/id/eprint/10

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