Research Output
An investigation into programme level approaches to feedback: Influences on students' learning and feedback literacy
  In designing sustainable feedback practices, it is crucial to consider the kinds of learning that higher education is intended to cultivate. This research study investigates how a programme-focused approach to curriculum design affects a students’ feedback literacy. This research stems from the growing focus on feedback literacy and what that implies for student engagement with feedback as a learning tool. While the current research focuses on feedback literacy at the student or individual module level, this study investigates what features of a programme can help, or hinder, a student’s feedback literacy journey.

Based on a review of the literature on feedback and feedback literacy, a survey was distributed to students across five programmes at Edinburgh Napier University. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the programme leaders as well as module leaders, and follow-up focus groups were conducted with the students who participated in the survey. Analysis of the findings found that there were five programme characteristics that factored into a student’s engagement with feedback literacy. They are:
a. Staff attitudes to feedback
b. Whether there is a programme-focused approach
c. Students’ role in feedback
d. Whether there is a sustained approach to feedback
e. Institutional acceptance of the challenges of developing a sustained approach to feedback

On this basis, it is recommended that not only do programmes consider a programme-focused approach to assessment and feedback, but that in order to help further the development of the students’ feedback literacy, staff must first be feedback literate themselves. Further research is needed to identify whether a shift in programme structure has an overall impact on student engagement with feedback and leads to the development of a stronger feedback literacy.

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  • Date:

    01 July 2020

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  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Davis, K. An investigation into programme level approaches to feedback: Influences on students' learning and feedback literacy. (Thesis). Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved from



higher education; feedback; feedback literacy; attitudes

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