Student engagement with teacher and automated feedback on L2 writing

Zhe (Victor) Zhang, Ken Hyland

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208 Citations (Scopus)
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Research on feedback in second language writing has grown enormously in the past 20 years and has expanded to include studies comparing human raters and automated writing evaluation (AWE) programs. However, we know little about the ways students engage with these different sources of feedback or their relative impact on writing over time. This naturalistic case study addresses this gap, looking at how two Chinese students of English engage with both teacher and AWE feedback on their writing over a 16-week semester. Drawing on student texts, teacher feedback, AWE feedback, and student interviews, we identify the strengths and weaknesses of both types of feedback and show how engagement is a crucial mediating variable in the use students make of feedback and the impact it has on their writing development. We argue that engagement is a key factor in the success of formative assessment in teaching contexts where multiple drafting is employed. Our results show that different sources of formative assessment have great potential in facilitating student involvement in writing tasks and we highlight some of these pedagogical implications for promoting student engagement with teacher and AWE feedback.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-102
Number of pages13
JournalAssessing Writing
Early online date7 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


  • Student engagement
  • Teacher feedback
  • AWE feedback
  • L2 writing

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