Easing the transition from school to HE: scaffolding the development of self-regulated learning through a dialogic approach to feedback

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Abstract

High quality feedback is known to be essential for learning, yet in higher education it has been highlighted as a problem area in the UK by both the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and National Student Surveys. Furthermore, a recent study has shown that there is a fault-line between the highly structured guidance system that exists in schools/colleges and the culture of ‘independent’ learning that is promoted in higher education and suggests that this is a significant barrier to a successful transition. This article reports research to improve the transition for first-year undergraduates by providing a structured set of guidance activities (scaffolding) as a means of an extended induction into the assessment processes in higher education. The activities are based on the dialogic feedback cycle, which encompasses principles of feedback as dialogue, emphasising guidance at the start of and during an assignment rather than summative written feedback. The intervention was evaluated by means of a questionnaire and supported by focus groups. The questionnaire was administered to a control group and an intervention group. Results showed statistically significant improvements (p < 0.05) in students’ perceptions of their understanding of assessment tasks and criteria and increased confidence in terms of completing assessment tasks and self-regulated learning.

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Beaumont, C., Moscrop, C., & Canning, S. (2016). Easing the transition from school to HE: scaffolding the development of self-regulated learning through a dialogic approach to feedback. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 40(3), 331–350. https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877X.2014.953460

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