Increasing ESP Student Engagement through a Process of Structured Feedback


Student engagement is a common concern among many instructors in higher education (Fraser, 2012). This is particularly true relative to student feedback. Indeed, of all the responsibilities inherent in university teaching, grading papers and offering feedback is considered one of the most important, yet least enjoyable among instructors. There are numerous reasons for this, including the amount of time it takes to grade and offer personalized feedback as well as the perception among many instructors that students do not consider feedback as anything but a justification for a particular grade (Chang et al., 2012). An overarching goal of feedback, namely to encourage a more thoughtful revision process and to help individuals develop as learners, seems to be lost on many students (Price et al., 2010). This study investigated how to increase ESP student engagement through a process of structured feedback by more effectively integrating the tracking feature of Microsoft Word into a freshman communication course. A total of 45 first-semester engineering students at a university in the UAE were involved in the study. Quantitative and qualitative data were obtained from control and experimental groups, class observations, semi-structured student and instructor interviews, surveys, and analysis of student writing. Findings revealed that students given explicit instruction and training in how to interpret and act on written comments improved their writing, engagement, and motivation to learn more than those not given such instructions and training.

Author Information
Nader Ayish, The Petroleum Institute, UAE

Paper Information
Conference: ACSET2015
Stream: Education and Technology: Teaching

This paper is part of the ACSET2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon