Feedback in New Zealand Classrooms: Do Students Get the Message?
There is increasing evidence that feedback is a key factor in successful teaching and learning. It is also clear that there are effective and less effective forms of feedback. To be most effective, feedback should incorporate assessment for learning principles. Although there is a large body of literature on feedback, there is limited use of the student’s voice, and little from a New Zealand context. This thesis investigates students’ understandings of feedback in New Zealand classrooms. A feedback typology is used to categorise and analyse examples of teacher feedback given by the students. Individual student interviews were conducted with responses informing the kinds of questions used for the teacher interviews. Advisory work in schools that involves classroom observations on feedback was also used to substantiate the findings. The sample used for this research came from two schools, four classrooms and focussed on sixteen students. The classes ranged from Years 3-6, which meant that the students were aged between 7 and 10. The analysis concludes that while New Zealand students can describe a range of both evaluative and descriptive feedback their understandings do not always match what the teacher intended. The feedback typology was found to be a useful tool but was problematic in that there was no assurance that feedback was against shared expectations of the task.