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Learner-to-educator Feedback; Acquiescence Bias, Reliability and Learner Opinion

Author Brett Becker and Orla Butler
Abstract There is considerable research on the topic of providing feedback to students. Practices such as formative and summative feedback are well researched and have in fact become part of the lexicon of modern pedagogy. The provision of educator to learner feedback (ELF) is one of the key ways students know where they stand in a module or programme and based on this feedback can alter course or focus concentration as necessary. There is less research being conducted in the area of Learner to Educator Feedback (LEF), which learners provide to educators and institutions, specifically on how this is gathered, influenced, and utilized. There is a particular lack of study on student perception of LEF and the LEF process itself. This also needs to be addressed. Just as ELF can be [should be] pivotal in a learner's progress in a module or programme, LEF should be a central influence over decisions about improving module and programme delivery. If this feedback is not gathered in a fair and transparent manner, if it is biased, not robust, or not utilized and acted upon correctly, the educator has failed in responding to feedback in the very manner that students are expected to respond to feedback provided to them. Most of all, if learners do not have a positive opinion or response to the feedback they have provided, if they feel that it has not been heeded, they may lose faith in the system. This also may have the consequence of negatively affecting future feedback provided, either consciously or unconsciously.
Keywords Feedback, Feedback Questionnaires, Learner to Educator Feedback, Reliability, Robustness, Student to Teacher Feedback, Feedback Bias, Acquiescence Bias, Cronbach?s Alpha, Quality Assurance
Published In ICEP Proceedings
Year 2011
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