Title: An Analysis Of Instructor Feedback
Program: Master of Science in Mathematics
Advisor: Dr. Margaret Kinzel, Mathematics
Committee Members: Dr. Joe Champion, Mathematics; Dr. Sasha Wang, Mathematics; and Dr. David Miller, Mathematics
Carless & Boud (2018) capture the definition of feedback best as “a process through which learners make sense of information… use it to enhance their work or learning strategies.” This definition goes beyond feedback solely being the role of instructors and highlights the student component in making sense of the feedback which we reference in this study as “actionable feedback”. Are instructors providing meaningful feedback to their students to encourage revision? Past studies offer inconsistent results on most features of feedback and little is known about how some of these factors benefit students’ interactions with feedback.
This study aims to learn more about both classroom perspectives between the instructor and the student. The main focus was on college mathematics instructors’ feedback practices to gain a better understanding of what elements of feedback are being used and if it matches the type of feedback that students find most useful.
Boise State University instructors that teach below the calculus level graded and left feedback on a collection of student work samples while students completed a questionnaire that gained their insight on how they use feedback, how highly they value it, and which feedback type they find most useful. A thematic analysis was conducted on each feedback comment’s word choice to classify each into specific feedback groupings. Results indicate that the instructor feedback was overall actionable. Students preferred that type of feedback, signifying a match.