From feedback-as-information to feedback-as-process: a linguistic analysis of the feedback literature

Winstone, Naomi E., Boud, David ORCID logoORCID:, Dawson, Phillip and Heron, Marion (2022) From feedback-as-information to feedback-as-process: a linguistic analysis of the feedback literature. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 47 (2) . pp. 213-230. ISSN 0260-2938 [Article] (doi:10.1080/02602938.2021.1902467)

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Feedback is a term used so frequently that it is commonly taken that there is a shared view about what it means. However, in recent years, the notion of feedback as simply the provision of information to students about their work has been substantially challenged and learning-centred views have been articulated. This paper employs a corpus linguistics approach to analyse the use of the term ‘feedback’ in research articles published in key higher education journals on the topic over two five-year periods: 2009–2013 and 2015–2019. Analysis focused on the most common noun modifiers of ‘feedback’ and nouns modified by ‘feedback’, verbs with ‘feedback’ as the object, possessors of ‘feedback’, and prepositions representing an action or concept on or with ‘feedback’. Whilst the analysis demonstrated that transmission-focused conceptions dominate publications on feedback, linguistic signifiers of a shift over time in representation of feedback away from a transmission-focus towards a learning-focus were evident within each grammatical relation category. The data indicate that the term ‘feedback’ is used by different authors to refer to very different representations of the concept, and the paper proposes that greater clarity in the representation of feedback is needed.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Work and Learning Research Centre
Item ID: 34262
Notes on copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
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Depositing User: Carol Costley
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2021 18:00
Last Modified: 13 May 2022 15:42

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