University teachers’ reflections on the reasons behind their changing feedback practice

Wei Wei, Xie Yanmei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the changing feedback practices of teachers in an elite university in China. Drawing on teacher cognition theory and recent research developments in effective feedback practices, fourteen teachers were invited to reflect and explain their feedback practices in semi-structured interviews. Which identified three trends: their use of feedback practices appear to change: (1) from addressing specific tasks with detailed comments to addressing a combination of issues within and beyond task level, (2) from providing feedback at the end of a learning cycle to instructing on common problems at the beginning, and (3) they appear to make their feedback more timely and interactive by using social networking software and new course formats. Teachers seem to be willing to experiment with a wide range of feedback. They constantly evaluate the effectiveness of these practices based on two criteria: improving student academic performance and teaching all the content from the curriculum as scheduled. Recommended or experimental feedback practices were unlikely to be sustainably adopted by teachers unless they were confirmed to be effective by the teachers’ own evaluations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)867-879
Number of pages13
JournalAssessment and Evaluation in Higher Education
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Feedback
  • higher education
  • teacher change
  • teacher cognition


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