Issues and Agency: Postgraduate student and tutor experiences with written feedback

H S Sanchez, Katie Dunworth

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This paper examines the issues which postgraduate students and tutors experienced as they engaged in receiving, providing and requesting feedback, aswell as the strategies which they adopted as they sought resolution of these issues. The study employed a case study approach, using data obtained from semi-structured and stimulated recall interviews with students and staff from three discipline areas at one university in the UK. The findings reinforce the conclusions that have been drawn in a number of previous studies in terms of the sources of dissatisfaction emerging from individual interactions and institutional practices. Additionally, however, the results expand on our current understanding of feedback and agency in higher education by illustrating how participants sought out imaginative solutions to the challenges they experienced, in order to enhance the effectiveness of the feedback process. The diversity of the strategies used provides evidence of student and tutor agency, and has implications for current feedback practices and future research in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-470
Number of pages16
JournalAssessment and Evaluation in Higher Education
Issue number3
Early online date27 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • feedback; perceived issues; coping strategies; agency.


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