Interplay among technical, socio-emotional and personal factors in written feedback research

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12 Citations (Scopus)


The centrality of written feedback is clearly seen from the proliferation of research in the context of higher education. As an increasingly expanding field in research, the majority of written feedback studies have been interested in investigating the technical aspect of how feedback should be given in order to promote student learning. More recently, researchers have focused on the socio-emotional factors at work in the feedback process, and advocated a dialogic approach to giving feedback in order to increase students’ understanding and active participation in the process. Moreover, to empower students to reflect on and make sense of the written feedback they receive, students’ personal characteristics, such as their prior and current knowledge, also play an important role. Nevertheless, reviewing studies on written feedback in the context of higher education shows a lopsided focus on the technical factors of written feedback, with little attention paid to the socio-emotional and student factors. This commentary aims at providing a broader definition of written feedback and identifying the dominant factors reported in research. A conceptual framework for looking into the factors at work in the feedback process is proposed and future research directions are suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalAssessment & Evaluation in Higher Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2017


  • Assessment
  • Feedback
  • Higher education
  • Personal factors
  • Socio-emotional factors
  • Technical factors


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