Master Anna Therese Steen-Utheim
Students’ sense making of feedback. Dialogue, interaction and emotions.
The article-based thesis is written within the discipline of educational sciences, and thematically positioned in the field of feedback in higher education. The aim with this thesis is to contribute with knowledge about how feedback, seen as a social-relational phenomenon, is perceived by students and how they make sense of it. Current research in the field positions feedback as a dialogical process where the concepts dialogue, interaction and emotion are central. However, there is little research examining the relational and interactional elements of feedback, including research about the emotional component in feedback processes. Moreover, how feedback dialogues unfold in interaction and how these can support student learning have not sufficiently been examined. Additionally, there is little research that investigates dialogic feedback conceptually, particularly related to the concepts dialogue, interaction and emotion. In this study, I investigate feedback viewed as a process and take student experiences into account, complemented with how the students make sense of feedback, and their actions and emotions associated with feedback. To explore this, I analyzed in depth feedback dialogues between one teacher and his students, the students self-reported reflection logs, and focus group interviews. The study contributes to the field by re-conceptualizing dialogic feedback in a model that brings together the following dimensions of sense making; dialogue, interaction and emotions. The study also contributes with generating an understanding for how these dimensions can inform an analytical framework, and provide evidence for how they are present in practice.
In today’s higher education, student centered learning is emphasized as a means to increase students’ learning. The generated knowledge about feedback processes, seen from the student perspective, is valuable for institutions in the utilization of the potential of feedback. Results from this study can be used to enhance feedback processes in higher education.