CEIT undergraduate students’ perceptions and preferences of formative feedback, and the relationship of these perceptions and preferences with their learning approaches

Şat, Mustafa
Formative feedback in project-based courses helps students either group or individual to deal with complex tasks and problems and facilitates their project and report development. This study investigates CEIT undergraduate students’ perceptions and preferences for formative feedback given for their projects and reports. The study also examines the relationship of these perceptions and preferences with the type of their learning approaches (Deep vs. Surface). Sequential exploratory mixed methods research design was employed. Semi-structured interviews with participants (n=10) resulted in themes describing perceptions and preferences for a variety of formative feedback types and feedback sources. These themes and literature were used to create a questionnaire with two scales: perceptions and preferences. Data for pilot study were collected from 97 CEIT undergraduate students in Middle East Technical University. Exploratory Factor Analyses resulted in three factors for perceptions scale (development, understandability and encouragement) and one factor for preference scale. Data for main study were collected from 250 CEIT undergraduate students in 2012-2013 Spring Semester from three public universities: Amasya, Ankara and Hacettepe. Confirmatory Factor Analysis was conducted on perceptions and preferences scales. Further analyses were conducted on the quantitative data, including descriptive analysis, Canonical correlation analysis and factor score correlation analysis. Results indicated that students gave significant attention to the importance of formative feedback on their project and report development as well as on their development of learning in project based courses. Formative feedback was viewed as a key component in project based courses. Their perceptions were varied with respect to different formative feedback providers. Yet, they appreciated formative feedback provided by instructors. In relevance to formative feedback preferences, students commonly preferred to receive formative feedback that helps them develop their projects and reports by showing the weak and strong sides of their project and report performances, giving clear explanations about how to make necessary revisions, including suggestions to improve weak aspects of their projects and reports. Moreover, students preferred formative feedback to be clear, understandable, practical, consistent, and timely. Students also wanted encouraging formative feedback that recognizes their efforts on their projects and reports, motivates them for revisions, and provides messages in a positive tone and manner. The results of the study also indicated that students’ formative feedback perceptions and preferences were only correlated with deep learning approach. Students adopting deep approach tend to have high preferences and high appreciation toward formative feedback provided for their projects and reports.
Citation Formats
M. Şat, “CEIT undergraduate students’ perceptions and preferences of formative feedback, and the relationship of these perceptions and preferences with their learning approaches,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2013.