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Durham e-Theses
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Feedback 2.0: An Investigation into Using Sharable Feedback Tags as Programming Feedback

CUMMINS, STEPHEN,ALEXANDER (2010) Feedback 2.0: An Investigation into Using Sharable Feedback Tags as Programming Feedback. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Objectives: Learning and teaching computer programming is a recognised challenge in Higher Education. Since feedback is regarded as being the most important part of the learning process, it is expected that improving it could support students' learning. This thesis aims to investigate how new forms of feedback can improve student learning of programming and how feedback sharing can further enhance the students' learning experience.

Methods: This thesis investigates the use of new forms of feedback for programming courses. The work explores the use of collaborative tagging often found in Web 2.0 software systems and a feedback approach that requires examiners to annotate students source code with short, potentially reusable feedback. The thesis utilises a variety of research methods including questionnaires, focus groups and collection of system usage data recorded from student interactions with their feedback. Sentiment and thematic analysis are used to investigate how well feedback tags communicate the intended message from examiners to students. The approaches used are tested and refined over two preliminary investigations before use in the final investigation.

Results: The work identified that a majority of students responded positively to the new feedback approach described. Student engagement was high with up to 100% viewing their feedback and at least 42% of students opting to share their feedback. Students in the cohort who achieved either the lower or higher marks for the assignment appeared more likely to share their feedback.

Conclusions: This thesis has demonstrated that sharing of feedback can be useful for disseminating good practice and common pitfalls. Provision of feedback which is contextually rich and textually concise has resulted in higher engagement from students. However, the outcomes of this research have been shown to be influenced by the assessment process adopted by the University. For example, students were more likely to engage with their feedback if marks are unavailable at the time of feedback release. This issue and many others are proposed as further work.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Programming; Feedback; Web 2.0; Tagging; Assessment; Feedback Sharing; Sentiment Analysis
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Engineering and Computing Science, School of (2008-2017)
Thesis Date:2010
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:03 Sep 2010 10:10

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