The use of a structured formative feedback form for students` assignments in an African health sciences institution : an action research study
Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.
Background: Formative feedback is an important process in facilitating student learning as it helps students identify learning gaps early enough and devise means of covering those gaps. Most health professional educators spend most of the time designing summative assessment tools and pay little emphasis to giving qualitative feedback to students throughout the learning process. This problem has been identified at Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MaKCHS) and forms the basis of this study. Objectives: To investigate prior understanding of students and lecturers about formative feedback. The study also aimed at exploring experiences of students and lecturers regarding implementation of feedback in a resource-constrained context. Methods: This was an action research study using a participatory approach. Results: Initially, lecturers had some prior knowledge of feedback, however, students had misconceptions of what feedback could mean. After introducing a written feedback form, all participants expressed satisfaction with the feedback process. Key themes that emerged included: enhancing motivation, enhancing learning, promoting reflection and clarifying understanding. Conclusion: Students` motivation to learn can be greatly enhanced through formative qualitative feedback. A simple structured form is one way of providing qualitative formative feedback to students in resource-limited settings. Key words: formative feedback, structured form, action research.