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Preservice early childhood students' perceptions of written feedback on their essays

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Lecturer feedback on students' essays is important to the quality of the experience students have at university (Norton & Norton, 2001). The aim of the present study was to investigate whether early childhood students at one university actually read lecturer feedback on their essays and, if they did, what they found helpful and not helpful to their learning. Feedback was defined as 'giving students information on how well or how poorly they are doing in their academic work' (Hounsell, 1987, p. 109). Using the Vygotskian concept of learning as a socially shared activity, qualitative data were collected from second-year students from a four-year early childhood degree programme via an anonymous survey and four focus groups. Major findings were that, in contrast with studies of students in other programmes, early childhood students read lecturer feedback on their essays and used feedback that was detailed and explanatory as a learning tool. Types of feedback students found to be most and least useful were identified.

Keywords: Early childhood education; Essay writing; Feedback; Undergraduate students

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of South Australia Australia

Publication date: April 1, 2004

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