CRADLE Seminar Series New directions for feedback seeking research and practice

In this presentation Professor David Carless, University of Hong Kong and Honorary Professor with CRADLE, will discuss the concept of feedback seeking and its impact on teaching, learning and motivation.

Feedback research has increased dramatically over the last twenty years, yet feedback seeking seems to remain relatively under-exploited territory. Feedback seeking is defined as purposely seeking information about one’s own level of performance, interpreting it and applying it (Anseel et al., 2015).
In this talk, I discuss some work-in-progress on feedback seeking and attempt to chart some new directions. The main project is a systematic literature review on empirical research on feedback seeking in undergraduate education, aiming to synthesize strategies, motives and outcomes of students’ feedback seeking (Leenknecht & Carless, in progress). A second longitudinal project examines transcripts of assignment-related feedback seeking interactions between a high-achieving undergraduate and her teachers (Carless & Young, in progress).

Feedback seeking research is typically conceptualised through pro-active social behaviours, cost-value frameworks and achievement goal theories of learning versus performance goals. Motives for feedback seeking are mainly seen as comprising learning motives, impression management motives or introspective ego-building motives. Strategies are generally classified as involving direct inquiry e.g. asking a question, indirect inquiry e.g. starting up a conversation, and feedback seeking monitoring e.g. comparing work against that of peers, exemplars or previous work.

Conceptual implications focus on the interplay between feedback seeking, teacher and student feedback literacy; and the prospects for cross-fertilization between feedback seeking in organizations, medical education and broader higher education. The role of teachers is highlighted as being important in promoting students’ feedback seeking behaviours. Implications for practice relate mainly to how feedback seeking can be developed into a more sustained element of undergraduate curricula, and some of the strategies that teachers might deploy in encouraging students’ feedback seeking.
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