Feedback on writing process

Background: Feedback is crucial for students’ learning process (Hattie & Timperley, 2007). It plays an important role in acquiring a highly complex skill such as writing. Currently feedback aiming to improve the writing process is scarce. In practice, teachers usually give feedback on the writing product (i.e., text quality). However, given that it is the writing process that generates the product, feedback on the writing process is valuable and should be taken into account as well.
Aim: We conducted an intervention study to explore the effects of two types of process-oriented feedback. Process-oriented feedback provides information on certain writing activities and the moment at which these activities take place during the writing process. In the position-setting feedback condition, students compared their writing process to that of students with a similar text quality score. The students in the feed-forward feedback condition, compared their writing process to better scoring students.
Method: A total of 67 Dutch students (grade 10) were randomly assigned to one of the feedback conditions. Each student wrote three synthesis texts (texts in which information from different sources is integrated) at three measurement occasions and received individual feedback at measurement occasion 2 and 3 prior to writing a new text. The individual feedback was integrated into a semi-automated tool. Writing processes were logged and analysed with key stroke logging software Inputlog (Leijten & Van Waes, 2013). Text quality was rated holistically using a rating scale with benchmark texts. Questionnaires measured the students’ attitude towards the feedback.
Results: In the feed-forward condition the intervention was effective. When comparing the students’ progress to a national baseline study (serving as control group), we can conclude that in one week they made a progress comparable to more than one year of regular schooling. The feedback was not only effective in terms of increase in performance, it also met the principles for effective feedback and was perceived rather positively by the participants

Output: The design and effect of two types of writing process feedback – presented at  Sig Writing Conference Antwerp (2018)

An example of the complete feedback flow can be found here.