An Investigation of How Written Feedback Influences Applied Level Mathematics Students' Perceptions of Assessment

Rina Lynn Hyland


Providing written feedback is common practice in education. This study explores how feedback practices influence applied level mathematics students' perceptions of assessment. The study was conducted in a grade 9 applied mathematics class using mixed methods. An adaptation of the Instructional Feedback Orientation Scale (IFOS) (King et al., 2009) was used to measure changes in students' orientations towards feedback during the course of a semester in a classroom where research-based feedback practices were implemented. Statistical analysis did not reveal significant changes of student perceptions of assessments. One-on-one interviews revealed that recommended feedback practices, while perceived as useful by students, did not always produce desired effects. Anecdotal records suggested that the type of assessments employed determined the effectiveness of written feedback. Formative assessment tasks that focused on one or two learning goals, were low risk, required minimal feedback and allowed for immediate response elicited favourable responses and promoted a classroom atmosphere that encouraged student learning.