Feedback in Masters Courses and the Development of International Students’ Academic Literacy

GUILLEN SOLANO, Victor Bernado (2018). Feedback in Masters Courses and the Development of International Students’ Academic Literacy. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Despite numerous studies on feedback and academic literacy, few have focused on the experience of international students on postgraduate taught courses, particularly in terms of how feedback contributes to the development of their literacy practices in UK universities. This study contributes to the discussion on what academic literacy is, and the role of tutor feedback in its development. The design includes surveys, semi-structured interviews, feedback samples and course documents, to explore the experiences of students and teaching staff in various disciplines in two British universities. The research reveals core elements of academic literacy and useful insights into their multiple interpretations, underlining how disciplinary variation, student and staff diversity can influence its conceptualisation and practice. Results point to the potential of dialogic feedback to develop academic literacy while also identifying other practices that contribute to its development. One key finding is that, besides the characteristics of feedback itself, personal and institutional factors such as length, structure and interdisciplinary nature of programmes can limit the role of feedback in academic literacy development. The research concludes that pedagogical practices such as assessment and feedback cannot be separated from either the individuals or the pedagogical spaces in which they occur, so their impact can be enhanced or constrained by such spaces and the people inhabiting them. Further research needs to explore the effect of specific personal and institutional factors on feedback practices and academic literacy development. Given the importance of feedback and evidence of student dissatisfaction revealed by the findings, institutions should implement systematic approaches to measure its effectiveness. A key recommendation is for institutions to encourage and maintain meaningful dialogue with students at different levels from programme design to course evaluation. There is also a need for tutors to adopt a more open and inclusive disposition to academic literacy, reducing their reliance on written assessment and being more accepting of international students’ native literacy practices.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Ridley, Diana
Additional Information: Director of studies: Diana Ridley
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2019 14:05
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 13:36

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