Computer-based formative assessment: variables influencing feedback behaviour

Caroline Frieda Timmers

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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Assessment can be used to stimulate and direct student learning. This refers to the formative function of assessment. Formative assessments contribute to learning by generating feedback. Here, feedback is conceptualised as information about learners actual state of performance intended to modify their thinking or behaviour for the purpose of improved performance (cf. Narciss, 2008; Shute, 2008). The use of computers in formative assessment has several advantages as it provides the opportunity to generate immediate, objective and appropriate feedback. Previous research shows that adding knowledge of correct response and remedial feedback to computer-based formative assessment (CBFA) is associated with performance improvement (Van der Kleij et al., 2011). However, for feedback to result in improved performance on an individual level, it is conditional that students actively seek feedback and construct meaning from it (Ashford et al., 2003; Bangert-Drowns et al., 1991; Nicol & McFarlane-Dick, 2006). To better understand the relation between CBFA and performance improvement, the extent to which students seek and study feedback has been explored as well as variables influencing this, so called, feedback behaviour. The method used to explore student feedback behaviour in a CBFA and variables influencing this behaviour is an example of learning analytics. The CBFA used to explore student feedback behaviour aimed at increasing knowledge and understanding of what information literacy entails and, subsequently, support improvement of student information-seeking behaviour. Furthermore, the relation between CBFA and performance improvement is influenced by numerous variables, such as content of feedback and student motivational beliefs. These variables need to be taken into account by designers of CBFA for reasons of effectiveness. Findings of previous research have been examined and used to draw an overview of variables substantially influencing the relation between CBFA and performance improvement. Subsequently, findings of previous research have been translated to recommendations for design of CBFA and used to propose a theory based decision-making framework for design of feedback interventions in CBFA.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Glas, Cees A.W., Supervisor
Award date27 Sep 2013
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-0641-0
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sep 2013


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