What feedback do students want?

Anna Rowe, Leigh Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalConference paperpeer-review


Effective and high quality feedback has been identified as a key element of quality teaching, and such arguments are well supported by the findings of meta-analyses studies. Despite this, feedback has been largely neglected in research to date, particularly from the students' point of view. For example, the Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) has only two questions which relate directly to feedback, and feedback continues to be a common source of student dissatisfaction. An increasing reliance on written correspondence, brought on by increasing student/staff ratios, and a growth in online/distance education, means that for many students, tutor comments on assignments and exams provide only source of feedback on their performance. This paper uses a phenomenographic methodology to explore student perceptions of feedback. Undergraduate economic and finance students enrolled at Macquarie University were invited to attend focus groups. Seven focus groups were run; one from each year group, one each of male and female and one of local and international. A questionnaire was developed from themes identified in the focus groups and administered to a large group of undergraduate students. This paper reports on the focus groups and the themes that emerged from the data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Association for Research in Education, Conference
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventAustralian Association for Research in Education Conference - Fremantle, WA
Duration: 25 Nov 200729 Nov 2007


  • Learning and Teaching


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