Contextual influences on student perceptions of teacher written feedback: the case of a legal research and writing (LRW) course in Hong Kong

Smyth, Philip (2013) Contextual influences on student perceptions of teacher written feedback: the case of a legal research and writing (LRW) course in Hong Kong. MPhil thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Research on teacher written feedback (TWF) in tertiary contexts has frequently sought to investigate whether feedback is useful in helping students improve their writing. Definitive answers to these investigations, however, remain elusive, making it difficult for teachers and instructors to conclude with any certainty that the written feedback they provide on student writing is having a positive effect. Part of the problem is that much research has investigated feedback too narrowly, focusing only on the feedback itself and ignoring the pivotal role of the learning environment and the students’ perceptions of it in adopting the feedback.

The current study adopts a socio-cognitive perspective to investigate the usefulness of TWF given to students in a first year Legal Research and Writing (LRW) course in Hong Kong. This exploratory research is based on the belief that students are the central factor in the success of feedback as they are ultimately the agents who choose whether to accept or reject feedback and if and how it is used. The study therefore sought to investigate how student beliefs and perceptions of feedback and writing instruction impact the effectiveness of TWF in this legal writing context.

Semi-structured interviews revealed the feedback practices in this context and identified factors that appeared to hinder adoption of TWF by students. These factors included student perceptions about the usefulness of the feedback itself and student beliefs about the perceived lack of importance of legal writing in their studies. There was also evidence to suggest that students were discouraged by perceptions of their own lack of success in improving their writing autonomously.

The study contributes to existing work on teacher written feedback in tertiary L2 writing settings by attempting to investigate factors that impact on the effectiveness of feedback in a high proficiency, second language (L2) legal writing context.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (MPhil)
Supervisors: Hamp-Lyons, E.
Jones, M.
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Education
Item ID: 13401
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2013 13:43
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2017 09:12

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