Author: Luo, Yuehan
Title: Student engagement with supervisory feedback on undergraduate theses
Advisors: Hu, Guangwei (ENGL)
Degree: DALS
Year: 2021
Subject: Dissertations, Academic
Feedback (Psychology)
Communication in education
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Faculty of Humanities
Pages: xii, 284 pages : illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Informed by Self Determination Theory (Ryan & Deci, 2017) and Ellis's (2010) theoretical framework for investigating student engagement with feedback, the present study proposes an integrated conceptual framework to examine Chinese English-major students' engagement with supervisory feedback on multiple drafts of their undergraduate theses. Specifically, the study aims to address the following research questions: (1) To what extent do Chinese English-major students engage affectively, behaviorally, and cognitively with supervisory feedback on their undergraduate theses? (2) What contextual (teacher) factors might influence students' engagement with supervisory feedback on their theses? (3) What individual (student) factors might influence students' engagement with supervisory feedback on their theses? The study adopts a mixed-method, exploratory sequential design, and data were collected in two phases. The first phase comprised several qualitative case studies, and the second phase involved a large-scale quantitative survey. Data collected in the qualitative phase were analyzed to identify key constructs to be explored in the quantitative phase. In the qualitative phase of the study, four supervisors and eight students participated in the research through purposive sampling. Multiple sources of data were collected, including semi-structured interviews, stimulated recalls, thesis drafts with supervisory feedback points, and audio-recordings of teacher-student conferences. Qualitative data analyses revealed that the student participants have engaged with supervisory feedback on their undergraduate theses to different extents. Three contextual teacher factors, namely teacher research expertise, supervisory experience, and research field, were found to influence how students might engage with supervisory feedback on their undergraduate theses. Three individual student factors, viz. learning motivation, English language proficiency, and their previous English academic writing experience, were identified as influencing students' multi-dimensional engagement with supervisory feedback.
In the quantitative phase of the study, a sample of 370 Chinese English-major students from three public universities completed a student engagement questionnaire informed by the case studies in the qualitative phase. Several scales in the student engagement questionnaire were piloted and used in the main study to gauge thesis supervisors' support of thesis writing process, of the extent to which students' basic psychological needs were satisfied, and their self-reported engagement during the thesis drafting and revising process. The factors emerging from the qualitative analyses in the qualitative phase of the study were factored into the student questionnaire. Multiple regression and structural equation modeling were conducted to determine factors that influenced student engagement. The multiple regression analyses revealed two key contextual factors, teacher research expertise and research field, that were significantly associated with the support a teacher would provide during thesis supervision. Two key individual factors, English language proficiency and previous English academic writing experience, were also significantly associated with students' basic psychological needs. The structural equation modeling analyses revealed that teacher support has a direct influence on student engagement and an indirect effect by the satisfaction of a student's basic psychological needs, which also has a direct effect on student engagement. A main contribution of the study is the new an integrated theoretical framework proposed for examining student engagement with supervisory feedback on undergraduate theses. This framework expands Self-Determination Theory and Ellis's framework for examining teacher feedback and incorporates various contextual and individual difference factors that can influence student engagement. The study also expands the scope of feedback research in higher education by focusing on Chinese English major students' engagement with feedback over multiple thesis drafts. Finally, the findings of the present study also provide useful implications for thesis supervision in the tertiary context of China.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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