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Educators’ perceptions of responsibility-sharing in feedback processes

Winstone, Naomi, Pitt, Edd, Nash, Robert (2021) Educators’ perceptions of responsibility-sharing in feedback processes. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 46 (1). pp. 118-131. ISSN 0260-2938. (doi:10.1080/02602938.2020.1748569) (KAR id:80702)


Many policies and processes in higher education reinforce a conception of feedback as being the transmission of information, thus placing primary responsibility on educators for delivering this information ‘well’ whilst neglecting the essential responsibilities of learners. In this study 216 university educators described the responsibilities of students, and of educators themselves, in the feedback process. We analysed their responses using both content analysis and a novel linguistic analysis of the specific words used. The content analysis indicated a clear influence of transmission-based models of feedback on educators’ views, with educators seen as responsible primarily for providing comments, and students responsible primarily for processing these comments. Linguistically, educators conveyed greater certainty, and were more likely to use referents to power and positive emotion, when describing their own as opposed to students’ responsibilities. These findings underscore the necessity of a cultural shift toward responsibility-sharing in the context of feedback in higher education.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/02602938.2020.1748569
Uncontrolled keywords: higher education, feedback, responsibility-sharing, socio-constructivism, language
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Divisions > Directorate of Education > Centre for the Study of Higher Education
Funders: Society for Research into Higher Education (
Depositing User: Edd Pitt
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2020 12:52 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 18:49 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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