Student perspectives on formative feedback as part of writing portfolios
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBader, M., Burner, T., Hoem Iversen, S., & Varga, Z. (2019). Student perspectives on formative feedback as part of writing portfolios. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 44(7), 1017-1028. 10.1080/02602938.2018.1564811
Despite the crucial role that students play in formative assessment practices, student perspectives on such practices are relatively under-researched. Through a qualitative analysis of 128 reflection notes written by student teachers of English, this article investigates the students’ perceptions of formative feedback as part of portfolio assessment at two teacher education institutions in Norway. As such, it contributes to bridging the gap between research and practice. Students received peer and teacher feedback on assignments and wrote reflection notes during the semester. Findings show that students are positive towards teacher feedback and highlight the significance of teacher praise. Main objections raised against peer feedback concern the lack of constructive criticism. However, positive attitudes towards peer discussion groups suggest that they may be a more effective way of implementing peer assessment than formalised written peer commentary. Student reflections suggest that a failure to understand the task and the feedback is a possible hindrance to successfully revising assignments. Overall, students’ positive attitudes towards the portfolio process, which includes multiple drafting, suggest that students in higher education would benefit from more opportunities to revise and resubmit their work, yet they need adequate practice in providing peer feedback, and interpreting and implementing feedback in general.