Effects of Feedback

Conventional wisdom suggests that regular feedback and rewards should be provided to learners since knowledge of results is motivating. There is also the assumption that corrective feedback allows learners to reflect on errors and assumptions and revise their thinking (Howard, 2006). However, research regarding the effects of feedback on learning is inconclusive regarding the necessity of feedback. The utility of feedback seems to be dependent on the interaction of the learner’s characteristics and the type or feedback (Green & Bavelier, 2008). There are some indications regarding the differential effects of the types of reinforcements on field-dependent and field-independent learners. Immediate negative reinforcement impacts more on the field-dependent learners than on the field-independent learners and results in better learning. On the other hand, positive reinforcement appears to have little effect on either type of learner. Additionally, research has shown that general approval appears to have no noticeable effect on field-dependent learners, while disapproval has a negative effect on their performance (Chinien, 1987).  

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