College students’ perception of e-feedback: A grounded theory perspective

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The increasing prominence of technology has given rise to new ways for writing teachers to give feedback electronically. Specifically, this article focuses on electronic written feedback (e-feedback) given to a group of English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) community college students. Although previous studies have investigated the effectiveness of different computer-mediated feedback practices (e.g. video feedback, audio feedback, multimodal feedback), there is a dearth of research which examines the effectiveness of e-feedback and lower-ability students’ perception of e-feedback in ESL post-compulsory writing classrooms which adopt a process writing approach. The present study, which aims to shed light on this research gap and inform ESL writing teachers’ feedback practices, investigates how feedback is given and attended to online by 93 students of an international community college in Hong Kong. Adopting grounded theory as the methodology and a tripartite definition of written feedback as the conceptual framework, the present study reports students’ perception of e-feedback on Google Docs from two sources: students’ written reflections and semi-structured, focus group interviews. Implications related to e-feedback practices are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1090-1105
Number of pages16
JournalAssessment & Evaluation in Higher Education
Issue number7
Early online date11 Feb 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Feb 2019


  • community college
  • e-feedback
  • google docs
  • grounded theory


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