A growing body of literature in higher education shows that feedback is a key feature of the assessment process that contributes to enhancing the quality of students’ learning (Lizzio & Wilson, 2008; Nicol & Macfarlane-Dick, 2006; Weaver, 2006). The ways in which students look at feedback and the learning environment in which feedback occurs influence the impact of assessment on learning (Wiliam, 2011). Effective feedback on assessment is considered to be an important tool to improve learning (Hounsell, McCune, Hounsell, & Litjens, 2008) and needs to be recognised and understood by students and teachers (Orsmond, Merry, & Reiling, 2005). If feedback is to be effective it must be timely, relevant (Ramsden, 2003) and suitable to the context (Knight & Yorke, 2003). Earlier studies show that the effectiveness of feedback may be compromised by different factors: the university policies that aim essentially to measure the achievements of the students instead of a continuous improvement of students’ learning (Price, Carroll, O’Donovan, & Rust, 2011) or the workload and the assessment practices used by the staff (Weaver, 2006). The new trends on assessment emphasise the use of practices centred on the learner, based on diverse forms of assessment (Pereira, Flores & Niklasson, 2016) and continuous feedback (Rust, O’Donovan & Price, 2005), enabling the self-regulation of learning (Hattie & Timperley, 2007). The self-regulation of learning promotes an effective learning and motivates students to use feedback in order to regulate and improve their work (Orsmond, Maw, Park, Gomez, & Crook, 2013). For that reason, the assessment tasks should be developed in order to enable effective and sustainable feedback (Carless, Salter, Yang, & Lam, 2011). Existing literature shows the need for the assessment methods to be aligned with a formative perspective based on continuous feedback enabling self-regulation of learning (Carless et al., 2011; Flores et al., 2015; Nicol & Macfarlane-Dick, 2006). Webber (2012) explains that methods centred on the learner such as projects, work in groups or oral presentations foster collaboration and feedback. Nevertheless, more empirical work is needed regarding students’ perceptions of feedback and its impact on teaching and learning (Poulos & Mahony, 2008) as well as the kind of feedback used and its impact within the context of traditional and learner-centred methods of assessment (Flores et al., 2015). Thus, this paper focuses on students’ perceptions of the effectiveness and relevance of feedback in regard to assessment methods and self-regulation of learning. This study aims to answer to the following questions: Are there significant differences in the perceptions of effectiveness and relevance of feedback practices depending on the assessment methods (traditional, learner-centred and mixed methods) used?; Are there any differences in perceived effectiveness and relevance of feedback practices in different phases (forethought, performance or self-reflection) of the self-regulated learning process?; What is the relation between the mode of feedback and the perception of effectiveness and relevance of feedback?; Are there any differences in perceived effectiveness of feedback practices in different phases and in the context of different assessment methods?
Carless, D., Salter, D., Yang, M., & Lam, J. (2011). Developing sustainable feedback practices. Studies in Higher Education, 36, 395–407. Flores, M. A., Veiga Simão, A., Barros, A., & Pereira, D. (2015). Perceptions of effectiveness, fairness and feedback of assessment methods: a study in higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 40, 1523–1534. Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of Educational Research, 77, 81–112. Hounsell, D., McCune, V., Hounsell, J., & Litjens, J. (2008). The quality of guidance and feedback to students. Higher Education Research & Development, 27, 55–67. Knight, P., & Yorke, M. (2003). Assessment, learning and employability. Maidenhead, UK: SRHE, Open University Press. Lizzio, A., & Wilson, K. (2008). Feedback on assessment: students’ perceptions of quality and effectiveness. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 33, 263– 275. Nicol, D., & Macfarlane-Dick, D. (2006). Formative assessment and self-regulated learning: a model and seven principles of good feedback practice. Studies in Higher Education, 31, 199–218. Orsmond, P., Maw, S., Park, J., Gomez, S., & Crook, A. (2013). Moving feedback forward: theory to practice. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 38, 240–252 Orsmond, P., Merry, S., & Reiling, K. (2005). Biology students’ utilization of tutors’ formative feedback: a qualitative interview study. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 30, 369–386. Pereira, D., Flores, M., & Niklasson, L. (2016). Assessment revisited: a review of research in assessment and evaluation in higher education. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 41, 1008-1032. Poulos, A., & Mahony, M. J. (2008). Effectiveness of feedback: the students’ perspective. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 33, 143–154. Price, M., Carroll, J., O’Donovan, B., & Rust, C. (2011). If I was going there I wouldn’t start from here: a critical commentary on current assessment practice. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 36, 479–492. Ramsden, P. (2003). Learning to teach in higher education. London: RoutledgeFalmer Rust, C., O’Donovan, B., & Price, M. (2005). A social constructivist assessment process model: how the research literature shows us this could be best practice. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 30, 231–240. Weaver, M. R. (2006). Do students value feedback? Student perceptions of tutors’ written responses. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 31, 379–394. Webber, K. (2012). The use of learner-Centered assessment in US colleges and universities. Research in Higher Education, 53, 201–228. Wiliam, D. (2011). What is assessment for learning? Studies in Educational Evaluation, 37, 3–14.
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