Developing Feedback Literacy - Understand, Engage, Act

A Teaching Development Fund project aimed at aligning student and staff approaches to assessment feedback literacy to support successful learning outcomes.
Header image for Understand Engage Act TDF Project


Understand, Engage, Act brings students and staff together to uncover differences in their experiences and expectations of assessment feedback.

Our focus is specifically on developing feedback literacy, acknowledging that students need first to understand the feedback provided by teachers before they can engage with and act on it.

This approach builds on a wealth of research highlighting that both teachers and students should share a common understanding of effective feedback practice in order for this to promote student learning.

Watch our project update given as part of the CLT Lunchtime Hub series in March 2021.

Key project aims

  • Increase understanding of differences between students and staff in expectations and experiences of feedback specific to the Bath context.
  • Develop a shared understanding between students and staff of effective feedback utilisation, purposefully aligning approaches to engagement and action.
  • Enhance student understanding of, engagement with, and action upon, feedback.
  • Support development of enhanced feedback literacy for staff and students.


Feedback is widely seen as important. However, despite ongoing innovations in assessment and feedback approaches, student satisfaction in this area remains stubbornly low nationally compared to other areas of provision. In Bath’s NSS 2019, the statement ‘I have received useful feedback on my work’ received the lowest level of agreement (63.03%).

Research by key learning and teaching experts, such as Winstone and Nash (2016), concludes that for feedback to support student learning, it is critical that students can actively engage with and act on it, commonly referred to as ‘feedback literacy’ (see also: Evans, 2013, 2016; Wong, 2019). Jonsson (2013) also highlights that barriers, such as not knowing how to interpret feedback, often mean students feel unable to act on feedback.

This project explores Bath student and academic staff perceptions and expectations of “useful” feedback, identifying opportunities to harmonise understanding. We will draw on relevant existing good practice but, importantly, co-create their adaptation with staff and students to ensure practical solutions relating to the University’s specific feedback challenges.

More detail

Staff and student surveys

We carried out initial staff and student surveys on perceptions of the feedback process and used these to inform our workshops in Semester 2.

Recruiting student participants

Students are at the heart of our project, and crucial to feedback literacy. Project teaching staff have recruited students from their units to take part in a series of workshops during Semester 2. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to shape their course as well as to gain valuable skills and experience.

Feedback literacy workshops

Across a series of workshops, students and their teaching staff are working together to identify opportunities in Semester 2 learning and teaching activity to develop feedback literacy.

Evaluation, resource development and sharing

We will use our project findings to develop guidance and resources that can be used by staff and students across the University to develop feedback literacy. We will share these in due course.

Project team

Dr Robert Eaton, Curriculum Development, CLT (Project Lead)

Dr Karen Angus-Cole, Education Department (Deputy Lead)

Prof John Chew, Chemical Engineering Department (Deputy Lead)

Dr Matthew Lennox, Chemical Engineering Department

Dr Claire McMullin, Chemistry Department

Dr Chris Bonfield, Technology Enhanced Learning, CLT

Andrew Eagleton, Student Engagement, CLT

Dr Briony Frost, Abby Osborne, Jo Hatt, Curriculum Development, CLT

Get in touch

If you'd like to know more about the project or talk to us about any part of it then please get in touch with Robert, Karen, or John.

Updated on: 14 October 2020