Researching feedback dialogue: an interactional analysis approach

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Journal Article
Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 2017, 42 (2), pp. 252 - 265
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© 2015 Taylor & Francis. A variety of understandings of feedback exist in the literature, which can broadly be categorised as cognitivist information transmission and socio-constructivist. Understanding feedback as information transmission or ‘telling’ has until recently been dominant. However, a socio-constructivist perspective of feedback posits that feedback should be dialogic and help to develop students’ ability to monitor, evaluate and regulate their learning. This paper is positioned as part of the shift away from seeing feedback as input, to exploring feedback as a dialogical process focusing on effects, through presenting an innovative methodological approach to analysing feedback dialogues in situ. Interactional analysis adopts the premise that artefacts and technologies set up a social field, where understanding human–human and human–material activities and interactions is important. The paper suggests that this systematic approach to analysing dialogic feedback can enable insight into previously undocumented aspects of feedback, such as the interactional features that promote and sustain feedback dialogue. The paper discusses methodological issues in such analyses and implications for research on feedback.
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