Enhancing Feedback Practice: A Personal Learning Styles Pedagogy Approach
This chapter identifi es how understandings of personal learning style(s) (Evans & Waring, 2009; Rayner, 2000) can be used to inform the nature of feedback within an integrated curriculum design. The last decade has seen an abundance of research in relation to assessment practices in education (Nicol, 2008; Swaffi eld, 2008), including extensive work carried out around the application of formative assessment and feedback on learner performance (Black & Wiliam, 1998). However, notable within this mass of research is the limited attention paid to how an understanding of personal learning style(s) can enhance our understanding of effective feedback practices. Even less attention has been paid to the potential relationship between the nature of feedback and cognitive style as it impacts on the self-regulatory practices of those who are preparing to teach, that is, student teachers (STs). Little is understood about the technologies of feedback within initial teacher education (Higgins, Hartley, & Skelton, 2002; Lizzio & Wilson, 2008; Mutch, 2003; Orrell, 2006). In other words, there is a lack of tacit as well as explicit knowledge and understanding of those mechanisms (processes and strategies) by which feedback is generated, offered, and engaged with by STs in initial teacher education (ITE). By exploring with STs their individual understandings of feedback, awareness of their own learning can be enhanced as they learn to teach (Evans & Waring, 2006; Nielsen, 2008). By making such knowledge and understanding explicit to STs, it provides opportunities for them to think about how they cater for individual learning differences (ILDs) through their design and delivery of assessment and feedback practices within their own teaching environments. Fundamentally such participant research can help to inform and improve higher education (HEI) practice by improving the nature of and mechanisms by which feedback is offered to STs. In summary, this chapter will make an explicit link between theory and practice by exploring the metacognitive potential of an understanding of cognitive styles as part of a Personal Learning Styles Pedagogy (PLSP) and how this can inform the development and
enhancement of feedback within ITE. Recommendations will be made in relation to informing the nature of feedback practices.