Title

Quality of written feedback and its perception by graduate students in a private university Karachi, Pakistan

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MScN)

Department

School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan

Abstract

Excellence in academic performance at the graduate level requires good command on writing skills. Teachers' written feedback can help students to develop their writing skills. However, several personal and contextual factors may influence the utilization of feedback by students. Understanding these factors is essential to improve the practice of giving and receiving written feedback between teachers and students respectively.Using a descriptive exploratory design, this study aimed to appraise the quality of written feedback in the graduate programmes and to ascertain students' perceptions about it at a private university in Pakistan. A purposive sample of 15 participants comprised the study. The data was collected through in-depth students' interviews and the teachers' written comments on students' assignments. The interviews were taperecorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were manually coded and categorized to assess the pattern of similarities and dissimilarities. Four categories emerged from the data analysis: variations in experiences, functions of written feedback, and characteristics of effectiveness and impact of feedback on students. Albeit, students reported variations in their experiences, the findings revealed more similarities than difference about the students' perceptions about the functions and characteristics of effective feedback. The analysis of comments on students' assignments indicated that the amount of feedback varied greatly. Although some feedback focused on form and style, most comments focused on the content. Moreover, the tone of comments lacked a balance in praise, criticism and suggestions. The findings have implications for the students, teachers and the university. The study highlights the importance of raising awareness among educators about the impact of written feedback on students' learning. The teachers need to train to enhance the quality of their feedback. Implementing institutional policies for graduate programme may bring consistency and positively influence the teachers' practices of written feedback.

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