YILDIRIM, SULEYMAN (2021) A phenomenographic study to explore tutors' perceptions of the role of written feedback in promoting self-regulated learning at Durham University. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
This thesis explored academics’ perceptions of self-regulated learning and their perceptions of how their written feedback helps students develop self-regulated learning skills. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data from thirty-seven academics from three academic faculties at Durham University; the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health. As the purpose of the study was to identify the variances in the perceptions and beliefs of the academics interviewed, the data were analysed according to phenomenographic principles.
According to the data analysis, four different categories emerged in relation to academics’ perceptions of self-regulated learners: ‘a self-regulated learner is a student who tries to understand concepts introduced in the degree program’, ‘a self-regulated learner is a student who connects concepts with each other to develop their own meanings’, ‘a self-regulated learner is a student who develops their content knowledge to be able to critically evaluate the evidence to develop their own perspective', and ‘a self-regulated learner is a student who develops learning skills to change as a person to become a life-long learner'. As we move from the first to the fourth category, conceptions become increasingly sophisticated. That is, whilst the conceptions of self-regulated learners described by academics in the first category are the simplest, those described in the fourth category are the most sophisticated. In the four categories, conceptions of self-regulated learners described by academics in the fourth category seem to be the most in line with traditional definitions of self-regulated learning as found in the academic literature.
The findings in this study also indicate that there are important differences in academics’ use of written feedback that are strongly related to their perceptions of what self-regulated learning is and how it might be developed. That is, whilst academics in the first category use their written feedback to help their students understand concepts, academics in the second category use their written feedback to help their students connect concepts with each other to develop their own meanings. While academics in the third category use their written feedback to support the development of students’ critical thinking skills, academics in the fourth category use their written feedback to help develop their students’ motivation because they think that students who have sufficient motivation are likely to take more responsibility for their own learning. Academics in the fourth category believe that students who have taken responsibility for their own learning can develop their learning skills so that they are likely to become life-long learners.
The thesis concludes that while some academics’ perceptions seem to align with the definition of self-regulated learning presented in the literature, most academics’ perceptions do not seem to be in line with this definition. Such findings indicate that there are discrepancies between theory and academics’ perceptions. The strong associations between academics’ perceptions of self-regulated learning and beliefs about their use of written feedback have important implications for teaching and learning. Therefore, it is likely that only academics in category 4, and possibly some academics in category 3 are using their written feedback in ways that will actually support the development of self-regulated learning. Academics who hold category 1, 2 and 3 perceptions are likely to be promoting some forms of learning behaviour and skills but whether they are fully supporting self-regulated learning is unclear. The implications of such a finding are that academics see self-regulated learning as more complex in practice and there are variances in their perceptions about where self-regulated learning starts from. Thus, academics’ perceptions present us with a more nuanced understanding of how self-regulated learning is viewed in practice. The findings also show that written feedback is used differently in all categories. We, therefore, need to acknowledge different functions and formats of written feedback and how these relate to different aspects of self-regulated learning.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Doctoral)|
|Award:||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Keywords:||Self-Regulated Learning, Written Feedback, Phenomenography, Higher Education|
|Faculty and Department:||Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||10 Apr 2022 17:32|