R.M. Mayordomo , A. Espasa Roca, T. Guasch Pascual, M. Martínez Melo

Open University of Catalonia (UOC) (SPAIN)
Various studies indicate the importance of feedback in higher education and the need for students to be engaged in understanding and using the feedback in order to make decisions from it so that feedback fulfils its function. Feedback is understood as a process which consists on three phases: generating feedback, processing and implementing it. The latter is conceptualised in the literature as engagement. We define engagement as a multidimensional construction of three dimensions: behavioural, cognitive, emotional [1]. How students engage with feedback will be mediated by how they perceive the feedback. Research has shown that both positive and negative feedback can produce emotions that have the potential to support or interfere with learning.

Our conceptualization of emotional engagement with feedback is based on the control-value theory of achievement emotions [2] and includes two dimensions: valence (positive and negative) and arousal activation (activating and deactivating). For the study of cognitive engagement, we have considered the relevance of planning, control and supervision which most of the SRL models recognize.

The aim of this paper is to show the relationship between students’ perception of feedback valence (i.e. positive, negative or positive+negative) and their emotional engagement and to show the relationship between this emotional engagement and cognitive engagement with feedback specifically in online environments.

This study was conducted at the Open University of Catalonia, an online university based on a written and asynchronous pedagogical model. A quasi-experiment was designed, wherein 111 Master students wrote a draft of a writing assignment, received feedback and implemented it to delivering a final submission. In order to analyse their feedback engagement, students responded to one questionnaire administered once they had received the initial feedback on their drafts. These are the data that we use for this paper. Emotional engagement was measured using 15 items that were adapted from the Achievement Emotions Questionnaire to the study situation [2]. Cognitive engagement was also measured with 15 items based on how students use feedback to cognitively regulate their learning.

The results indicate, on the one hand that there is a statistically significant relationship between the perception of feedback and the students’ emotional engagement with the feedback. On the other hand, when students perceive the feedback as positive feedback and both positive and negative feedback, the correlation between emotional engagement and cognitive engagement is significant.

This study highlights the importance of considering how students perceive the feedback they receive in the process of designing and giving feedback. The study also contributes to a deeper understanding of the implications of emotions in students’ engagement with feedback in online learning environments. Implications in feedback design and feedback implementation will be discussed.

[1] J.A. Fredricks, PH. Blumenfeld, & AH. Paris, “School Engagement: Potential of the Concept, State of the Evidence,” Review of Educational Research. vol. 74, no. 1, pp. 59-109, 2004.
[2] R. Pekrun, T. Goetz, A.C. Frenzel, P. Barchfeld, R.P. Perry, “Measuring emotions in students’ learning and performance: the Achievement Emotions Questionnaire (AEQ),” Contemporary Educational Psychology. vol. 36, no.1, pp. 36-48, 2011.