Publication Date

Fall 2019


response, feedback, timing, multiple-draft classroom, learning management systems (LMS), pedagogy


Writing instructors spend considerable time responding to student writing with the expectation that students will use that feedback to improve their writing. However, a number of studies have questioned the extent to which students apply instructor feedback to improve their writing or transfer it to new writing situations. Timing of feedback and students’ interest in feedback are frequently discussed in the literature on response as two factors that impact students’ ability to apply and transfer response. In this article I consider the relationship between the two factors and whether students’ behavior as they access feedback is related to when in the writing process feedback is provided. I report the results of a study using site statistics collected by a learning management system that compares students’ rates of opening instructor feedback on preliminary drafts and final papers. I also examine whether students’ rates of accessing feedback on preliminary drafts changed over the course of the semester from the first assignment to the final assignment. This study illustrates that the timing of instructor feedback significantly impacts students’ behavior as they access feedback and suggests that instructors prioritize feedback on preliminary drafts to encourage students to apply and transfer feedback.



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