Student perceptions of the ‘best’ feedback practices: An evaluation of student-led teaching award nominations at a higher education institution


  • Tom Lowe The University of Winchester
  • Cassie Shaw The University of Winchester



Student Engagement, Students as Partners, SOTL, Educational Development, Technology Enhanced Learning


There is great emphasis in contemporary higher education to address the seemingly consistent issue of what students perceive to be good assessment feedback practice. Improving this aspect of the student experience continues to elude higher education institutions, as reflected in the nationally lower than average scores in the United Kingdom’s annual National Student Survey questions on prompt feedback, which makes this a timely area for further investigation and discussion. To investigate student perceptions of feedback, this article examines the qualitative data from three years of student-led teaching awards nominations at the University of Winchester for the category "Best Lecturer for Constructive and Efficient Feedback." From this study, new revelations with regard to the student perception of the “best” lecturers’ feedback practices have come to light, including terminology, language, and emphasis on email turnaround, rather than the actual format of the feedback itself (such as handwritten, audio, e-submission). Key findings include that students focus on the quality of the linguistic elements of feedback rather than the mode of delivery. The study also finds that students are often perceiving feedback in a literal sense, with many staff nominated based on their informal email responses rather than the formal assignment feedback often attributed to this question in the National Student Survey. In order to tease out the repetitive emerging themes for which practices students are perceiving to be “good” feedback, this article outlines the findings of this study, including the methodology and nomination process of the student-led teaching awards at the University of Winchester.

Author Biographies

Tom Lowe, The University of Winchester

Tom Lowe is the Centre for Student Engagement Manager at the University of Winchester and a National Committee Member for RAISE. Formally, Tom was the project manager of the HEFCE funded REACT project, where he facilitated collaborative development between 15 UK HE institutions around Student Engagement with Educational Developments. Previously, Tom was Vice President, Education at Winchester Student Union. 

Cassie Shaw, The University of Winchester

Cassie Shaw is the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Officer at the University of Winchester. Cassie previously worked as the Research Officer (Student Engagement) at the University, where she directed the Student Fellows Scheme. Alongside this she worked on the HEFCE funded REACT Project as a researcher and conducted the systematic literature review of ‘hard to reach’ students. Before this she was the Student Engagement Assistant at Winchester Student Union, coordinating the Student Academic Representatives.  Cassie is currently undertaking a PhD in English Literature and Philosophy.


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How to Cite

Lowe, Tom, and Cassie Shaw. 2019. “Student Perceptions of the ‘best’ Feedback Practices: An Evaluation of Student-Led Teaching Award Nominations at a Higher Education Institution”. Teaching &Amp; Learning Inquiry 7 (2):121-35.