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From fast food to a well-balanced diet: toward a programme focused approach to feedback in higher education

Wilder-Davis, Kim; Carless, David; Huxham, Mark; McCune, Velda; McLatchie, Joan; Jessop, Tansy; Marzetti, Hazel


Kim Wilder-Davis

David Carless

Velda McCune

Tansy Jessop

Hazel Marzetti


Feedback may be considered ‘good’ according to many of the criteria in the literature whilst still having little or no impact on students’ learning in the longer term. Feedback in the context of this paper is defined as the process of learners obtaining information about their work in order to produced improved learning. This comes from tutors, peers, or even self-evaluation. Here we argue for greater prominence for feedback in curriculum design. Clear principles for giving guidance on assessments and feedback at the programme level, which complement those already established and widely used for single assessments, would help curriculum designers consider communication to students about assessments in a broader context. These processes should create a dialogue that aids the students’ progression in their learning from one module to the next and encourages the development of autonomous learners. Based on a review of the literature on programme-focused approaches to teaching, assessment and feedback, the current paper delineates the benefits of a programme level approach to communication around assessments and proffers a list of broad principles that will help academics achieve a coherent and developmental approach to feedback.


Wilder-Davis, K., Carless, D., Huxham, M., McCune, V., McLatchie, J., Jessop, T., & Marzetti, H. (2021). From fast food to a well-balanced diet: toward a programme focused approach to feedback in higher education. Practitioner Research in Higher Education, 14(1), 3-15

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 18, 2021
Online Publication Date Dec 16, 2021
Publication Date 2021
Deposit Date Jun 29, 2021
Journal Practitioner Research In Higher Education
Print ISSN 1755-1382
Publisher University of Cumbria
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Issue 1
Pages 3-15
Keywords Feedback; programme focused feedback; feedback literacy; student engagement
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