Effects of temporary mark withholding on academic performance

Kuepper-Tetzel, C. E. and Gardner, P. L. (2021) Effects of temporary mark withholding on academic performance. Psychology Learning and Teaching, 20(3), pp. 405-419. (doi: 10.1177/1475725721999958)

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Although feedback engagement is important for learning, students often do not engage with provided feedback to inform future assignments. One factor for low feedback uptake is the easy access to grades. Thus, systematically delaying the grade release in favor of providing feedback first—temporary mark withholding—may increase students’ engagement with feedback. We tested the hypothesis that temporary mark withholding would have positive effects on (a) future academic performance (Experiments 1 and 2) and (b) feedback engagement (Experiment 2) in authentic psychology university settings. For Experiment 1, 116 Year 2 students were randomly assigned to either a Grade-before-feedback or Feedback-before-grade condition for their report in semester 1 and performance was measured on a similar assessment in semester 2. In Experiment 2, a Year 3 student cohort (t) was provided with feedback on their lab report before marks were released in semester 1 (mark withholding group, N = 97) and compared to the previous Year 3 cohort (t-1) where individual feedback and grades were released simultaneously (historical control group, N = 90). Using this multi-methodological approach, we reveal positive effects of temporary mark withholding on future academic performance and students’ feedback engagement in authentic higher education settings. Practical implications are discussed.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The authors would further acknowledge that part of this research was supported by the Proctor's Teaching Development Fund at the University of St Andrews, UK.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kuepper-Tetzel, Dr Carolina
Authors: Kuepper-Tetzel, C. E., and Gardner, P. L.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Psychology Learning and Teaching
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1475-7257
Published Online:09 March 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Psychology Learning and Teaching 20(3): 405-419
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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