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Student feedback delivery modes: A qualitative study of student and lecturer views

Killingback, Clare; Drury, Dawn; Mahato, Preeti; Williams, Jonathan


Dawn Drury

Preeti Mahato

Jonathan Williams


Student feedback on assessment is fundamental for promoting learning. Written feedback is the most common way of providing feedback yet this has been criticised by students for its ineffectiveness. Given the wide range of feedback modes available, (written, audio, video, screencast, face-to-face, self and peer-feedback) a better understanding of student and lecturer preferences would facilitate recommendations for optimising feedback delivery. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences and preferences for summative feedback modes of physiotherapy students and lecturers.

A sample of convenience was used to recruit participants from one undergraduate physiotherapy programme in the UK. A total of 25 students were recruited for three focus groups and five lecturers for semi-structured interviews. Focus groups and individual interviews were guided by a semi-structured interview guideline and carried out by a research assistant who was not involved in teaching on the programme and therefore unknown to participants. Data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis.

Three themes were developed in relation to student and lecturer experiences of feedback to date: the importance of dialogue; the value of feed forward; and feedback disparity. From the student perspective, three themes were identified supporting their feedback preference: the importance of human connection; added information from non-verbal communication; valuing the lecturer view. From the lecturer perspective, two themes were identified around feedback preferences: challenges of spoken feedback and the importance of self-assessment.

This study identifies challenges around selecting optimal feedback modes due to the lack of student-lecturer consensus. Students preferred lecturer-led modes, providing the highest quality personal interaction with lecturers (face-to-face, screencast, video, audio). Lecturers most often advocated for student led feedback modes (peer or self-assessment) as a means to students valuing the feedback and developing reflective skills.


Killingback, C., Drury, D., Mahato, P., & Williams, J. (2020). Student feedback delivery modes: A qualitative study of student and lecturer views. Nurse education today, 84,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 1, 2019
Online Publication Date Oct 18, 2019
Publication Date 2020-01
Deposit Date Oct 25, 2019
Publicly Available Date Oct 19, 2020
Journal Nurse education today
Print ISSN 0260-6917
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 84
Article Number 104237
Keywords General Nursing; Education
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: Student feedback delivery modes: A qualitative study of student and lecturer views; Journal Title: Nurse Education Today; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version:; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


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