Student experiences of assessment feedback in the geography subject area: insights from a post-1992 institution


  • Toby Tonkin University of Northampton
  • Annabelle Boulay University of Winchester


Effective feedback, summative, formative, analytical rubrics, student satisfaction


Across the Higher Education sector students typically express dissatisfaction in assessment and feedback processes. This is concerning due to the importance of assessment feedback for helping promote good student outcomes. In this study the perceptions of 47 students were captured in focus groups to explore the challenges students face when receiving assessment feedback. The findings document a broad range of opinions held by students on the provision and effectiveness of feedback within the geography subject area, with preferences for feedback style and approach varying at the individual level. The findings indicate that poor assessment literacy limits the application of tutor feedback between separate assessment points. The language used by tutors when providing feedback was commented on. This relates to both the affective response of students to tutor feedback and their ability to de-code tutor comments. We underline the importance of building students’ assessment literacy to ensure they are able to fully benefit from both formative and summative feedback opportunities.