Systemic challenges for feedback practice are widely discussed in the research literature. However, this scientific knowledge does not always find its way to classrooms: feedback practices and policies remain stubbornly stagnant in higher education despite decades of research on learner-centred feedback. The idea of feedback literacy, representing students’ and teachers’ capacities to optimise the benefits of feedback opportunities, has recently gained widespread attention by offering new ways of closing the “research-practice gap”. This presentation introduces the findings of the first published literature review concerning feedback literacy. An analysis of 49 studies concludes that feedback literacy is a powerful idea that, if used carefully, carries potential for reimagining feedback in higher education. It also, however, risks psychologizing students’ and teachers’ feedback behaviours and downplaying systemic issues to sustainable feedback practices. The presentation will use feedback literacy as one (albeit important) example of how multidisciplinary research is required to close the research-practice gap, and how socio-political approaches to feedback literacy are needed to supplement the cognitivist and socio-cultural ones.
Dr Juuso Henrik Nieminen is Assistant Professor at the Academic Unit of Social Contexts and Policies of Education, University of Hong Kong, and Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning, Deakin University, Australia. His research focuses on the social, cultural and political aspects of assessment and feedback in higher education. Recently, Dr Nieminen has studied how assessment shapes up students’ personal and professional identities.