The use of tutor feedback on draft essays: exploring the potential to develop students’ academic writing and subject knowledge

Court, Krista (2012) The use of tutor feedback on draft essays: exploring the potential to develop students’ academic writing and subject knowledge. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 38 (3).

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0309877X.2012.706806

Abstract

Providing feedback on drafts of student essays is an accepted means of enacting a social-constructivist approach to assessment, aligning with current views on the value of formative feedback and assessment for learning (AFL). However, the use of this process as a means of improving not only content but also students’ academic writing skills has not been widely studied despite a widespread perception that there is scope for intervention. This article explores the developmental potential of a drafting/tutor feedback/redrafting process, with a particular focus on writing skills, on a first-year undergraduate module at a British University. Impact on learning is evaluated via essay data and students’ perceptions. The findings of this study suggest that feedback is acted on and that students regard timely, detailed and awareness-raising comments with regard to both content and writing skills as highly developmental. Also noteworthy, however, are the students’ perceptions that redrafting is cognitively challenging and time-consuming. There is also evidence suggesting that a high quantity of feedback may have a detrimental impact on less-academically confident students. Questions are raised regarding the use of tutor reformulation and the sustainability of AFL. Finally, some key indicators for improved future practice are presented.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Further and Higher Education
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Departments: Faculty of Education, Arts and Business > Institute of the Arts > Humanities
Pre 2016 Departments: Faculty of Education, Arts and Business > Postgraduate Programmes and Partnership > Continuing Professional Development
Depositing User: Krista Court
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2012 07:46
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2017 02:40
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/1358

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