Not seeing the wood for the trees: developing a feedback analysis tool to explore feed forward in modularised programmes


Journal Article

© 2014 Taylor & Francis. This paper considers feedback in the context of modularised programmes in higher education in the UK. It is argued that the self-contained nature of modular assessment may limit feedback dialogue between staff and students to assignment-specific issues, and may impede student progress towards holistic programme-level aims and outcomes. A feedback profiling tool was developed to categorise feedback on draft and final work. The analysis of feedback on 63 samples of draft work and 154 samples of final work showed different patterns. There were more feedback comments on draft work, and the feedback comments were dominated by advice and critique, while the feedback comments on the final work were overwhelmingly dominated by praise. This pattern of feedback is problematised in terms of feed forward from one module to the next, as students work towards the development of programme-level outcomes. Ipsative feedback (on progress) and feed forward in terms of disciplinary-specific skills and programme-level outcomes are recommended to enable students to act on feedback on end-of-module work, and develop students’ capacity to recontextualise disciplinary-specific skills throughout a programme. Some developmental applications for the feedback profiling tool are also suggested.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hughes, G; Smith, H; Creese, B

Published Date

  • November 17, 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 40 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 1079 - 1094

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1469-297X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0260-2938

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/02602938.2014.969193

Citation Source

  • Scopus