STUDENTS PROFILES OF COGNITIVE AND EMOTIONAL ENGAGEMENT WITH FEEDBACK IN ONLINE HIGHER EDUCATION
Feedback has been shown to be one of the most effective elements for online learning (Wisniewski, Zierer & Hattie, 2020). Feedback understood as the help the student needs to evaluate their progress taking into account the objectives and competencies to be developed (Guasch, Espasa & Martinez-Melo, 2019), may be limited in its impact, if students do not make decisions based on it and do not implement it to learn. This process is called feedback engagement (FE). Engagement is defined as the interrelationship among the three dimensions proposed by Fredricks, Blumenfeld & Paris (2004): behavioural, cognitive and affective. We adapted their proposal to the characteristics of online higher education environments, conceiving behavioural and cognitive as a single dimension, which is differentiated from the affective dimension.
Based on the combination of both dimensions of feedback engagement, the aim of this study is to identify the typology of cognitive and affective engagement in online higher education. It will allow the design of personalized feedback strategies, thus responding to one of today's feedback challenges (Henderson, Ryan & Phillips, 2019).
The identification of the typology of students was carried out on the basis of a survey from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). A total sample of 2556 students was achieved, allowing a global error of +1.93, (c.l 95.5%). Several cluster analyses have been done, using k-means procedure to identify the best clustering solution. The differences between the groups have been contrasted with the Kruskal-Wallis test, as the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was positive.
The results identify four types of students in relation to their cognitive and affective engagement with feedback in online higher education. The first group includes 44.2% of the students, who declare the highest levels of cognitive engagement with feedback received (reading, understanding, identification and regulation). In turn, they are students with high positive emotional activation (pride, optimism, confidence, and hope) but also negative emotional deactivation (relief), as well as low or very low levels of negative activation (anger, nerves, shame, and concern) and negative deactivation (defeat and hopelessness). A second type of student, which is very similar to the first group, represents 15.6%. Their cognitive profile is high, although more moderate, and is distinguished from the former by showing a very high level of negative activation and deactivation.
In contrast, 25.9% of the students show a profile of maximum cognitive disassociation with feedback, showing the lowest levels of reading, understanding, identification and regulation, but also the lowest levels of emotional engagement of all types. Finally, the fourth student's type represents 14.3% and has a similar profile to the previous one, although more balanced and distinguishing itself from the most disassociated group by showing high levels of positive deactivation (relief after receiving feedback) and positive activation emotions.
As can be seen, students vary greatly in terms of their feedback engagement pattern. Understanding the characteristics and implications for learning is critical to personalize feedback and achieve better learning outcomes.