In light of a growing emphasis on student-centred learning approaches, feedback is viewed as an activity that has potential to facilitate higher education students’ explorations of knowledge contents and practices. However, research shows that feedback does not always lead to the expected student engagement. This qualitative study proposes a feedback conceptualization informed by sociocultural notions, in which students co-construct meaning from the teacher’s feedback comments through interaction over time, with each other, the teacher, and relevant resources. Based on an in-depth analysis of undergraduate biology students’ discussions of feedback comments, we found that the feedback process takes the form of a meaning-making trajectory students move along by orienting towards and elaborating on both task-specific and general-knowledge content. Thereby, we contribute to a better understanding of what constitutes feedback processes viewed from an interactional perspective and generate knowledge on how to tailor our feedback practices to better address the students’ needs.
This is a Submitted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Studies in Higher Education on 08 Aug 2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/03075079.2017.1359249