Effects of Summary versus Interspersed Feedback on the Quality of Student Revisions to a Written Case Assignment
26 Pages Posted: 10 May 2011
Date Written: May 2, 2011
This study examines whether students generate greater improvement in written case analyses when given feedback that is either interspersed throughout their written case submissions or presented only as a summary, and whether the benefits of these two forms of feedback vary across students of differing academic competence. A secondary goal is to identify factors associated with the initial quality of students’ written case analyses and with their decision to revise their initial case submission. Consistent with expectations, we found that the effectiveness of feedback depended on an interaction between its form and the competence of students to which it was provided. Specifically, less competent students benefited more from interspersed feedback than from summary feedback, mid-level students benefited more from summary feedback than interspersed feedback, and the extent of improvement by the most competent students did not depend on whether they received summary or interspersed feedback. We found this pattern also in students’ subsequent essays. These results suggest that instructors should not adopt a one-size-fits-all format when providing feedback to students. We also present data indicating the relative importance of factors influencing students’ voluntarily choices to revise and resubmit their case analyses.
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