The focus of feedback research is extending from studies on the form of effective feedback, to studies on proactive feedback engagement of its receiver. However, studies keep showing that feedback often is not used to its full potential. This is often explained by students not being prepared for this proactive role in feedback. It is thus vital for teachers to explicitly address and support this to their students. Therefore, drawing from the concept of the Zone of Proximal Development, this paper presents an instructional model for feedback engagement.
The model outlines feedback engagement as comprising two student responsibilities each containing two feedback engagement strategies. The first student responsibility is to show independent problem solving, including the strategies: (1) making sense of feedback on a task, process, and self-regulation level and (2) using feedback through goal-setting and action-planning. The second student responsibility is to share information that is relevant to their development, including the strategies: (3) communicating on feedback use and (4) seeking feedback. For strategy 3 the acronym SUPER is developed to support students in sharing relevant information on feedback use.
SUPER: Shared perception, Use of feedback, Product improvements, Emotional impact, Request for feedback.
For strategy 4 the acronyms POWER and CLOSER are developed to support students in asking for relevant and concrete feedback.
POWER: Problem definition, Option overview, Weights of options, Express own preference, Request for feedback.
CLOSER: Context, Learning Objective, Self-Evaluation, Request for feedback
Based on this instructional model, an extended definition for feedback engagement is proposed including all four strategies. This fits in the current development of viewing feedback from a programmatic perspective. It aims to provide teachers with concrete tools to support their students’ feedback literacy and thus proactive feedback engagement. The ultimate goal of feedback literacy is to prepare students to be lifelong learners.