Student engagement with topic-based facilitative feedback on e-assessments


  • John Dermo
  • Liz Carpenter


This three year study investigates how undergraduate students engage with topic-based formative feedback on e-assessments consisting of multiple choice and extended matching questions.  After submitting the assessment, the student does not receive directive feedback on individual questions, but instead they are shown diagnostic facilitative feedback on the different subject topic areas covered in the test. The study looks into student engagement with this type of topic-based feedback: engagement is measured in terms of time commitment, number of questions answered, and the distribution of timing of the student effort. Through quantitative analysis of three years of student data, the paper explores whether there is evidence of different engagement patterns between the stronger and weaker students, as measured by performance on the subsequent summative module examination. The paper concludes that there is evidence that the more successful students did engage with the formative assessments significantly more than the mid-ranking students, and the least successful students engaged least of all. Qualitative questionnaire data also indicate positive student attitudes towards this kind of feedback and suggest that the feedback is mostly used to evaluate the revision process.