Enhancing the Impact of Formative Feedback on Student Learning Through an Online Feedback System

Thanos Hatziapostolou
Iraklis Paraskakis


Formative feedback is instrumental in the learning experience of a student. It can be effective in promoting learning if it is timely, personal, manageable, motivational, and in direct relation with assessment criteria. Despite its importance, however, research suggests that students are discouraged from engaging in the feedback process primarily for reasons that relate to lack of motivation and difficulty in relating to and reflecting on the feedback comments. In this paper we present Online FEdback System (OFES), an e-learning tool that effectively supports the provision of formative feedback. Our aims are to enhance feedback reception and to strengthen the quality of feedback through the way feedback is communicated to the students. We propose that an effective feedback communication mechanism should be integrated into a student’s online learning space and it is anticipated that this provision will motivate students to engage with feedback. Empirical evidence suggests that the developed system successfully addressed the issues of student engagement and motivation and achieved its objectives. The results of using the system for two years indicate a positive perception of the students which, in turn, encourage us to further explore its effectiveness by extending its functionality and integrating it into a an open source learning management system.


Formative feedback, Online feedback, Student engagement, Student motivation


This article details an Online Feedback System (OFES) used in a learning management system along with discussion forums, quizzes etc. One of the primary intents of the OFES was to increase student motivation and engagement through the use of feedback. An examination of instructor course feedback from a computer science class after using the tool in classes in 2005 and 2006 revealed that all students accessed the OFES, 35% of students accessed the OFES again before the final exam, and an increase in the amount of students who felt feedback was timely and clear than prior to implementation of the OFES. The authors suggest that feedback needs to be “timely, motivating, personalized, manageable and in direct relation to assessment criteria” (p. 121). Considering the success of the two year pilot program of using OFES, the authors note they are working on deploying OFES as an open source LMS and working on integrating it with Web 2.0 technologies.

APA Citation

Hatziapostolou, T., & Paraskakis, I. (2010). Enhancing the impact of formative feedback on student learning through an online feedback system. Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 8, 111-122.

About the Study

Links to Article https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ895699.pdf
Mode Online
Publication Type Journal Article
In Publication Electronic Journal of e-Learning
Type of Research Mixed methods
Research Design Mixed methods
Intervention/Areas of Study Feedback
Level of Analysis
Specific Populations Examined
Peer-Reviewed Yes
Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest
Specific Course or Program Characteristics
Outcome Variables of Interest
Student Sample Size
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