Instructors’ and Students’ Perceptions and Practices of Feedback Provision During Continuous Assessments in EFL Writing Classes: The Case of Wollega University

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This study explored EFL instructors’ and students’ perceptions and practices of feedback provision during continuous assessment implementations in EFL writing classes. It examined whether EFL instructors and students use feedback as a mediational tool between what had been intended and what have been achieved in EFL writing classes. This study was exploratory descriptive case study. Convergent parallel mixed method design was adopted for data collection, analysis and interpretations. Target Populations of this study were EFL instructors and 1st year undergraduate EFL students of Wollega University who took Basic Writing Skills course. Sample participants of the study were 18 EFL instructors and 230 EFL students. Data were collected through quantitative and qualitative tools. The instruments were: questionnaire, Focus group discussions (FGD) and document analysis (DA) of marked EFL students’ continuous assessment papers. Data were analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Questionnaire data were analyzed quantitatively using descriptive statistics such as: frequency and percentage. SPSS V20 was used to process the data. FGD data were analyzed thematically, while the marked continuous assessment (CA) papers were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. Findings of the study revealed that both EFL instructors and learners positively perceive that feedback can bridge the gap between the intended goal and the current level of students’ performance. Students’ questionnaire data also depicted that majority of the respondents 74 (32.2%) had interests to use feedback to enhance their writing performance even though EFL instructors reported that lack of students’ willingness to get feedback was one of the hindrances of the effectiveness of feedback. In spite of students’ positive perceptions, 92(40.0%) of the respondents claimed that EFL instructors’ feedback for the continuous assessments of Basic Writing Skills were not given in an appropriate time. Similarly, among 783 marked Basic Writing Skills’ Continuous Assessments papers collected form six EFL instructors, 579 (73.9%) were found only with the score/results the students scored while 204 (26.1%) of the papers were found with very slight written feedback. Implicit feedback provision strategy was prevalently used. On the majority, or 91(44.6%) of the slightly commented writing CA papers, the feedback were written implicitly and those comments were found to be constructive in nature. It was also reported that large class size, students’ lack of willingness to solve their writing problems, students’ preference of marks to qualitative/ descriptive feedback, and students’ poor language background to read and understand written comments, number and variety of CAs were major problems. One of the reasons for the negligence of feedback on students’ writing CAs in EFL classes was also found to be the assessment types. i.e., objective types of assessments which did not require detail feedback in nature were dominantly used. Based on the findings, it was concluded that offering feedback along with all these challenges was found to be very tiresome since writing feedback on students’ writing CAs consume most of the teachers’ time, commitments and willingness to respond to the feedback from both EFL teachers and students. CA without feedback less likely serves its purpose. It was recommended that to enhance EFL students’ writing performance and to bridge the gaps observed during CA in EFL writing classes, feedback on assessments of EFL writing should be integrated in the instructional process. To effectively execute CAs’ feedback, the university should facilitate working environment and encourage both teachers and students by designing various mechanisms. Then, the university could certainly produce competent citizens who are equipped with the required knowledge, skill and attitude.



Perceptions, Practices, Continuous Assessments